Village representatives learn about disaster management

By Mathias Huckert 13 July 2016, 12:00AM

What to do in case of an emergency? In most cases, people have learnt something about disaster management at a certain point of their life, but this knowledge, as important as it is, is also forgotten too fast.

The recent workshop hosted by the United States Agency for International Development (U.S.A.I.D.), that was launched within the organization’s Coastal Community Adaptation Project, made sure that this knowledge was polished up for its participants at Hotel Millenia in Apia.

“We have learnt a lot of things,” told Ana Mulitalo.  

As a representative of her village Leusoalii, she attended the workshop in order to come back with solid knowledge about how the community should behave in case of future disasters.

“Our training included a presentation on useful priority actions to ensure the safety of my village during disasters.” 

In particular, the information imparted to local representatives like Ana Mulitalo provided them with a useful insight on how to take care of the elders and handicapped if a possible disaster might appear. 

Being asked about how she will transmit the gained knowledge into her community in Leusoalii, Ana Mulitalo delivered a solid answer that represents a modern way of village life in Samoa: “I will attend our village council or the women community council and explain to them what I have learnt here.” 

But the workshop did not only provide its attendants with useful knowledge in case of an emergency caused by disasters. 

The issue of raising funds to finance local projects was also addressed, and in the case of Ms. Mulitalo’s village, this was one of the main concerns for the representative of Leusoalii to visit U.S.A.I.D.’s training. 

“I was also informed about how to seek some more funds for our village. At the moment, the [Coastal Community Adaptation Project] is responsible for our spring water system. The construction of that will possibly be completed in another two or three months. 

At this workshop here, I am also looking for another donor, for further developments of our projects in the village.”

The priority system applied by the workshop’s host U.S.A.I.D. was quite simple to understand for the participants, even if there appeared to be some unexpected changes. 

“[In the case of Leusoalii], the natural spring water project originally was planned to be their second priority project, along with an evacuation shelter that they wanted to build. 

“The problem with that was that the village did not happen to have allocated a piece of land for the shelters,” explained Cecilia Amosa of U.S.A.I.D. Even though the building process of the shelter had to be delayed, the future for the village’s water supply is more than safe: “We’re not only rehabilitating the current spring, but we’re also building a 30.000 litre [water] tank.”

With the knowledge about disaster management and especially the introduction of better ways to fund local community projects in Samoa, U.S.A.I.D. could help out and support the different representatives of Samoa’s society in a way that seems more than profitable for the future.

By Mathias Huckert 13 July 2016, 12:00AM
Samoa Observer

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