Tanna Communities benefit from Climate Change, Climate and Geo-hazards Awareness

Communities in Tanna

The Department of Climate Change (DoCC) and Vanuatu Meteorology & Geo-hazards Department (VMGD) have jointly conducted an awareness program within the remote communities of Northern and Southern most part of Tanna targeting communities and schools with an aim of informing and building community resilience through Climate, Climate Change and Natural Disasters informations.

The aim of this awareness program is to help educate our people in vulnerable communities to ensure resilience building occurs within our communities and to inform people that Climate Change is an urgent environmental matter that needs to be addressed using practical solutions that will assist them to address its impacts in future.

A total of 679 people met during this awareness. A total of 16 communities and 7 schools from South and North Tanna. The areas visited were Ikakahak Primary School, Itaku School Primary School, Yeruareng, Kumera School, Ienmarei, Akwaraka, Ishia, Lewisi, Yeniwi, Imaki Primary & Secondary School, Manuapen, Port Resolution Imaio, Lopangnuo, Lawir, Imarvin, Launapaiu, Lenefa Presbyterian School, Lawis, Lounamen, Hebron and Ennian Vui School at Hebron.

Most of these communities and schools have experienced drought or shortage of water in the past months due to the location of their communities, which is prone to experiencing the effects of meteorological hazards in Vanuatu. These communities often times have access to very limited or no information on what they are experiencing, thus lack of proper preparations and adaptation measures are in place.

Being at the remote sites, smaller islands and isolated communities in Vanuatu also contributes to having lack of knowledge about the impacts of climate change, the changing weather conditions and the possible disasters that may have brought about by natural events like Volcano, Earthquake and Tsunami. Some of the communities in these areas commended the team that this is a first time that an awareness as this reached their community; a local from Lopangnuo Village, North Tanna.

Nelson Kalo, Climate Change Mitigation Officer at DOCC stressed the importance of reaching out to those vulnerable communities is paramount as people need the right knowledge in order for them to take any action to prepare and adapt to the impacts of climate change and natural disasters. “Information through awareness is a means to build the knowledge and understanding of people so this may influence their decisions to address impacts of climate change,” he said.

People in the communities acknowledge the visit saying that they are now informed with some of the changes with regards to climate, climate change, Tsunami, earthquake and volcanic eruption as well as the adaptation and mitigation measures to be taken in the community and the safety measures for the geo-hazards events and the natural signs to prepare them for the happening of such disasters in future.

The awareness program also helped DOCC and VMGD as government institutions dealing with CC, meteorology and geo-hazards impacts in Vanuatu to identify potential vulnerable sites where impacts of climate change will be severe in the future.

Similar program will be implemented in other remote and isolated islands around the country in future with the aim to build people’s understanding on Climate Change adaptation and mitigation practices and risk mitigation practices to natural disasters to enable people in vulnerable areas to ensure building up community resilience.