Matafa’a Lefaga practices disaster response

By Deidre Fanene ,

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BE PREPARED: Residents of Matafa’a, Lefaga clamber up to the church, which is the assigned place of refuge in the event of a tsunami.

BE PREPARED: Residents of Matafa’a, Lefaga clamber up to the church, which is the assigned place of refuge in the event of a tsunami.

The village of Matafa’a, Lefaga has learned how to be able to respond in the event of a tsunami warning. 

TRIAL RUN: Members of the village flee to higher ground.

TRIAL RUN: Members of the village flee to higher ground.

Yesterday A.D.R.A Samoa, the Ministry of Police, Disaster Management Office, Ministry of Health and the Fire Station worked together with members of the village to teach them how to respond to natural disasters, mainly tsunamis when they hit.

The programme aims to encourage villages to take responsibility for their own protection in the face of the ever-present threat of disasters. 

This includes organising villages into disaster committees and response teams and ensuring teams are trained and prepared for collective action.

TRIAL RUN: Members of the village flee to higher ground.
TRIAL RUN: Members of the village flee to higher ground.

In an interview with the Project Manager of Community Disaster and Climate Risk Management (C.D.C.R.M) of A.D.R.A Samoa, Tuioti Sakaria Taituave, he said the simulation was for them to see how the village will prepare and respond when a disaster hits.

“Today,  we focused on tsunamis as the main disaster  because the village is near the ocean,” he said.

“This is the last part of the training as we have already conducted workshops and surveys so this is the last part of it.  It’s for us to see if the village knows and understands what needs to be done during the time of disaster.

“Matafa’as simulation is no different  from other villages and there is still work that needs to be done. It’s not hundred percent at the moment  but it will get better if we keep conducting training and simulations for them.”

Rev. Tupai Pene Tamalelagi of the Methodist Church at Matafa’a said the simulation is really important because they have learned what to do when a disaster hits.

“As you can see we are living in a very dangerous area because the ocean is on one side and the mountain’s on the other,” he said.

“So when a disaster hits us, it’s very difficult for us to move anywhere. But with today’s simulation ,we now understand where to go and what to do.

“Now that everyone understands  their priority during a disaster, we know that we will be okay.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

Developed by Samoa Observer in Apia