From 4th to 7th of April, the French Red Cross (FRC), in close partnership with the Vanuatu Red Cross Society (VRCS) closed its Disaster Risk Reduction project entitled “Together Becoming Resilient 4” (TBR4), and launched its new Disaster Risk Reduction Project entitled “Supporting Community Planning 3” (SCP3) in Malekula. These two projects are made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of the FRC and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.
The workshop gave the opportunity to participants to give feedback on the project that was designed to strengthen the resilience of communities towards natural disasters by setting up Community Disaster Committees, conduct trainings and awareness campaigns around natural disaster risks and preparedness, etc. During participatory exercises, participants were asked to provide feedback and recommendations for future Disaster Risk Reduction projects. These recommendations along with those from the Red Cross have been taken into account for the new SCP3 project taking place in the same communities in Malekula.
The three main objectives SCP3 project are to train or strengthen the Community Disaster Committees (CDCs) in disaster risk reduction and emergency response in partnership with the Natural Disaster Management Office (NDMO); to meet the selected communities’ needs in terms of access to drinking water; and to improve evacuation centers and evacuation roads in selected communities.
CDC Chairmen and members of 8 communities came over to participate in the three-day workshop along with VRCS representatives and board members – including the VRCS President, Mr. Ati Georges Sokomanu – , and officials. The Area Council Secretaries for South and South-East Malekula were also present. At the end of the day, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the FRC/VRCS and each community, which was represented by the CDC chairman. This agreement contains a rough agenda and “establishes the rules of cooperation” between the Red Cross and the communities to reach their common goal: to build disaster resilient communities.