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Views from the Frontline findings presented to National Stakeholders

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26th September, 2018 The findings of a pilot programme dubbed as Views from the Frontline (VFL) were presented to the stakeholders in a meeting today at the National Emergency Management Office conference room. The meeting was opened by His Eminence Soane Patita Cardinal Mafi who is the chairman of the Tonga Trust Board.

VFL started in January this year, designed for civil society organizations to gather the perspectives of local communities, local civil society and local government through a survey on the risks they are facing, its consequences, actions needed to build resilient in and the barriers they are facing.

The survey was based on five risk areas including flooding, sea surge, drought and food security, water contamination and coastal erosion. For each risk area, two vulnerable communities were selected by the programme’s National Advisory Committee to participate in the survey.

Director of NEMO and Chair of VFL National Advisory Committee Mr. Leveni ‘Aho said, “It is important for stakeholders to consider the scope of VFL and the work completed. This will be the foundation of proposals to alleviate the effects of adverse events.  Information is needed to back up the proposal and must base on reliable figures.”

“Most part of this work involves collecting of data from the chosen communities, analyzing the data collected and going back to the communities to present the findings. It is a huge work but at the same time we should take note of the importance of collecting information that is accurate.”

He stated that the committee is happy with the outcome of the work and including communities will not only help build resilient but vulnerable communities will understand their role better in disaster reduction.

Tonga Trust’s Program Manager Ms. Na’aluse Taiala said, “VFL was led by us (Tonga Trust) in collaboration with the Global Network for Disaster Reduction and was funded by Australia. We also had 10 working partners and two reps from each of our working partners were trained to conduct the survey.”

Taiala explained that each community that participated in the training were required to develop work plan activities and a small grant was given to them to start implementing some of the activities in the plans submitted.

“The grant is only $1,000 for each of the communities that participated in the survey. At the moment we are looking at how we are going to fund the rest of the activities in the work plans. Hopefully some of the partners and the clusters will be working with us to fund the remaining activities.”

She said that a report will be formulated from the survey’s findings and each of the communities will receive a copy of the report as well as relevant stakeholders.

ENDS

Issued by the: Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications.


 
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