Women thankful for disaster risk reduction awareness and support
Funded by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP), the Disaster Risk Reduction project activities which ran for 3 years (2016-2019) have strengthened the community women’s role towards becoming resilient rural women through improving their livelihoods, enabling them to access markets sustainably, undergo training and improve their awareness on the challenges their community faces from the changes experienced by climate change
“We are thankful for the support provided by WWF over the past 3 years, we are pleased with our acquired skills and knowledge, the support provided by WWF has enabled the women’s groups to generate income and this has enabled us to meet our family needs,” said Matelita Waqalevu.
Items that were provided to support the women included the installation of solar to the women’s kitchen facility a first of its kind, a deep freezer to store preserved food products, the provision of a coconut squeezer and a water tank.
“ Now with the solar, we don’t have to look for fuel for the generator to power up the coconut grater, the freezer will be for goods to be sold and for a small fee villagers can use it to store essentials, this is another form of income generation and we are grateful to WWF for the support towards empowering the women’s group,” Waqalevu said.
WWF-Pacific’s monitoring and evaluation coordinator Unaisi Malani-Tagicakibau highlighted that the project has empowered community women through the identification of sustainable livelihoods which not only empowers them but is also a driver for socio-economic growth in their communities.
“I make $600 a month from selling jams, soaps, handicraft and detergents and now I have been selected to represent the Western division. I am very pleased with the knowledge I have gained especially in terms of looking after our natural resources for our future generation,” said Sesarina of Navotua village.
WWF-Pacific’s Great Sea Reef programme manager Alfred Ralifo added that the livelihood activities support provided to these women empowered them with the right skills and capacity to improve social and economic security for their families.
“The other materials associated to DRR includes providing the communities of Navotua and Natutu with first aid kits, wheel chairs, transistor radios, hailers, whistles, hurricane lamps, ropes, rain coats and reflector vests that will help these communities better prepare and respond to natural disasters” he said.
“This is to help them facilitate the implementation of their village disaster management plans which is a component of Tikina Nacula’s 20 Year Sustainable Development Plan,” Ralifo said.