The celebration of the successful three-year project between the Adventist Development and Relief Agency and United States Agency for International development (U.S.A.I.D.) or the Pacific American Climate Fund (P.A.C.A.M.) project was held in Siufaga, Savaii yesterday.
A parade led by the Ministry of Police band also included members of the community and representatives from the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, Fire and Emergency Services, Fa’ataua Le Ola and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
United States Embassy Charge-de Affaires, Antone Greubel said the initiative builds upon their strong ties as they promote a stable and prosperous future for the people of Samoa.
“As we know Samoa is vulnerable to extreme drought, prolong heavy rainfall as well as extreme cyclones and tropical storms that are becoming more frequent.”
“These hazards not only cause fatalities and damages, they also challenge the livelihood that people depend on,” he said.
Mr. Greubel said the partnership between the U.S.A.I.D. and A.D.R.A has enhanced disaster risk management and diversified the livelihood of 10 coastal communities in Samoa.
He said the project helped the communities create the village community disaster and climate risk development plan and establish a disaster risk response team, train and rescue, first aid, warning and evacuation, shelter management and security.
“As result the communities are now better prepared to response in the event of disaster. In addition, the partnership promoted sustainable fisheries management and agriculture in the communities through trainings and workshops that were conducted with experts from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
“The participants also received fishing nets and seedlings to help them diversify their livelihoods and this resulted in an improved income of beneficiaries from fishing and gardens using sustainable processes,” Mr. Greubel said.
The project is just one of the 28 locally driven initiatives that U.S.A.I.D. and P.A.C.A.M. have supported across the Pacific region to build community resilience.
The Prime Minister congratulated A.D.R.A. Samoa as well as the U.S.A.I.D. for the great initiative.
“The focus and livelihood programmes for the villages and communities A.D.R.A. worked with enhancing disaster preparedness and mitigation activities are very relevant and are key contributors to the sustainable development of these communities.”
“We are confident that the selected communities to benefit from this project are not only better prepared to respond to the disasters, but also armed with the skills and knowledge to improve their livelihoods and to build sustainable communities,” he said.
The celebration ended with an award ceremony that recognised the most prosperous livelihood beneficiaries through a strategic rewarding system and to promote sustainability measures for the beneficiaries to maintain livelihood programmes for income generation and improved quality of life.