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International Day for Disaster Reduction 2016

October 13, 2016

The International Day for Disaster Reduction, held every year on 13th October, celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of disaster preparedness. 

ABM is actively supporting Disaster Risk Reduction activities in Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Kenya, the Philippines, Myanmar, and the Solomon Islands, implemented through our network of strong Anglican partners. The aim is to empower local communities to plan and prepare for natural disasters such as cyclones, flooding, drought and rising sea levels, ensuring they can “Live to Tell” their stories of success and resilience.

In honour of this day, we would like to spotlight one partner in particular who is working towards this goal. The Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) has developed a comprehensive Action Plan for addressing Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change, which is being supported by several agencies, including ABM.

The Action Plan has three main outcomes, which are as follows;

Outcome 1: Implement appropriate policies and activities to increase community resilience, in the context of emerging Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Programs.

Outcome 2: Increased food production and crop yield in the previously flood-affected communities and other low lying areas.

Outcome 3: Increased capacity of communities to plan for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and respond to changes in climate-related risks.


Fr Elo with tanks.
From right to left; Fr. George Elo (ACoM Mission Secretary), Fr. Philip
Rongotha (Vicar General) and Fr. Davidson Ngwaeramo (Dean of St
Barnabas Provincial Cathedral)

Specifically, ABM funding will be directed towards communities that were worst-affected by the flooding of Honiara in April 2014. These families are still living in a precarious situation, after being relocated by the Solomon Islands government to higher ground. Access to clean water and basic sanitation is limited in this area, and ACOM have identified the provision of water tanks as an urgent priority. Four 2,500L capacity tanks have now been delivered to the community site (see above image), and work is underway to install them. Training will also be provided in this community relating to Disaster Preparedness, so a Disaster Risk Reduction Plan may be developed and implemented in the event of future emergencies.

One 3,000L capacity tank will also be provided to the Christian Care Centre (CCC) in Honiara, which ABM has historically supported. The CCC was established to care for women victims of domestic violence, providing a safe haven for many over the past few years. The increasing demand for CCC services, along with their vulnerability to future flooding, has made this extra supply of clean water an absolute necessity.

Approximately 360 people will benefit from this portion of the project being funded by ABM.

If you are interested in reading more, a local newspaper in the Solomons The Island Sun has written an article about the great work that ACOM are doing to reduce Disaster Risks in communities. Click here to read.


Update received 14/10/16:

ACOM Aid and Programme Officer, Mr Casper Super, attended a conference from 14th – 17th September 2016 on Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Emergency Preparedness, convened by ACT Alliance and Pacific Council of Churches (PCC).

He sent us an update about the conference:

“The DRR Workshop in Nadi, Fiji, was jointly funded by ACT for Peace, Bread for the World and PCC to support key partners on the outcome of the Parish Agreement on Climate Change and the DRR Sasakawa Agreement, and developed key strategic areas to address and how the church institutions can play a key role in these two issues.

“We have also been trained on how to integrate DRR and key support to develop Disaster Risk Reduction Plans for Church Based Organizations.

“For us (ACoM), we have already developed our DRR Plan which part of this initiative is to develop DRR Plans at the dioceses’ level to ensure proper coordination and effective operations during disaster situations.

“The key outcome of this workshop is the development of the Tokatoka Declaration which partners support PCC members pertaining to the Climate Change Parish Agreement and upcoming COP Meeting.”