British grant for Falealili community disaster relief services
Falealili district which was one of the most impacted during the 2009 tsunami are expected to receive reliable and convenient humanitarian services during natural disasters through the construction of a new Red Cross emergency disaster relief storage depot.
A grant agreement of SAT$33,000 was signed between the British High Commission and the Samoa Red Cross Society on Wednesday morning. The project which will also include the building of a new house in the village of Siuniu located at Falealili District.
This will also cater for the Falealili West and East side of Upolu Island enhancing humanitarian response work by the Red Cross.
British High Commissioner to Samoa, David Warm and representatives from the Red Cross signed the agreement.
The project aims at developing an emergency disaster relief storage facility by reconstructing a new emergency disaster relief storage facility for the Samoa Red Cross Society and to coordinate the disaster risk reduction (D.R.R.) and climate change adaptation (C.C.A.) management by providing humanitarian services, in order to make a difference in people’s lives and to ensure “no one is left behind”.
In times of disaster and emergency, Red Cross also plans to use the facility as a central hub to coordinate their health and disaster management programs' activities including First Aid, blood donor recruitment, HIV/STI tests, water and sanitation, disaster risk reduction (DRR), climate change adaptation (CCA) and more.
Faga Talitonu, a Falealili resident told this newspaper that since the 2009 tsunami, people had been very cautious of minor natural disasters including earthquakes, strong waves and tsunami warnings.
"Majority of the families since then have moved inland because the tragic trauma will always be there in everyone's minds including those that weren't affected so you can imagine how it would be for families who had been affected," he said.
"So every time there's a warming about an earthquake or something, we would always be on the lookout."
Mr. Talitonu also welcomed the project adding that they very much need it given their distance from Apia not only for natural disasters but also for cases of emergencies.
The project objectives include strengthening the existing community volunteer network and youth peer-educator groups; the major benefits of the proposed centre to the community are: a central reference post for the wider community consultation, training and awareness on health, disaster management and climate change issues; for easy accessibility to stock supplies of relief non-food items in emergency and disasters; for evacuation shelter in disasters; an isolated spot ideal for a makeshift shelter for infectious patients in likely diseases outbreaks; and for the wider communities at the Falealili Districts to access emergency disaster relief supplies in times of natural disasters.
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