BY BEN BILUA
TWENTY five market vendors in and around Gizo are currently undergoing Community Resilience to Climate and Disaster Risk training.
Officials from Western Province’s disaster committee are also part of the training.
In an interview with Island Sun Gizo office, the National Project Coordinator, Market for Change Project Solomon Islands, Collin Potakana said the training is to ensure markets have disaster plans making sure disaster respond plan guarantee vendors and customers’ safety in the event of natural disasters.
He said similar training is also underway at Munda.
“These are the first training we carry out under component four of Market for Change program. Component four of Market for Change Project focuses on Infrastructure development and Resilience to Climate and Disaster Risk training.
“At the end of these five days training, we are looking at drafting a disaster response plan for Gizo and Munda Market.
“Another objective is to establish a disaster committee for Gizo and Munda Markets. This committees will make sure outcomes of this trainings are implemented effectively,” Potakana said.
He said the training is led by officers from National Disaster Management Office in collaboration with Market for Change Program and participants will be introduced to hazards, risks, vulnerability and simulations that would help participants master the knowledge.
Potakana said similar trainings will be carried out on four market administrations; Honiara City Council who is responsible for Honiara Central market, Malaita Provincial Government the responsible authority for Auki market and Western Provincial Government who is responsible for Gizo and Munda markets.
“Towards the end of August, we will facilitate the training for Honiara Central Market and around September we will reach out to Auki market with similar training,” he said.
Potakana said there is a very high demand for the training but he believes that knowledge is passed down from the training and will be passed to community level as most participants comes from communities.
He acknowledged Australian Government for funding the program and also NDMO for supporting the program in delivering the trainings.
Potakana also acknowledged Western Provincial Government, Gizo Market management and Munda Market management for allowing the training to run smoothly.
One of the participants, Clera Miurel who represents Saeragi vendors’ said the training is an eye opener for her.
She said she learned lots of new knowledge in relation to disaster resilience and disaster management.
Miurel said the training helped her to realize the importance of preparedness and disaster management.
“I’m very happy to be part of the training. I’ve learnt a lot during today’s session (yesterday) and I’m hoping to learn more in the next three days,” she said.
Miurel said disaster preparedness is very important and such training will help not only vendors but communities to better prepare for disaster.
She said she will make efforts to share the knowledge obtained from the training with her community and also vendors.