Vila Times

Build Red Cross Provincial branches in preparedness and response capacities

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35 volunteers from Tafea and Malampa Red Cross branches were attending four days Emergency Response Training at their respective provinces.
Distance, time and costs are acknowledged problems in disaster response in Vanuatu. All too frequently disasters occur in remote islands or communities often difficult to access the locations.
Pacific islands National Societies’ are generally small and at the best have one or two dedicated Managers based in their national office. Generally there is a big gap of having experience disaster manager’s, especially at remote or local branches.
When disaster does occur on a location away from the national office, the National Society is faced with dilemma, either to send their disaster manager to the site ( expensive even if accessible) which then creates a vacuum of disaster management expertise in the national office or to rely on inexperienced personnel at branch level.
The problem was identified with a proposed solution. A training was designed called Emergency Response Team training are composed of local Red Cross Volunteers based at the branches.
According to Disaster Management Coordinator, Mr Augustin Garae, the objectives of this training are to build the VRCS response human resource preparedness and response capacities, to undertake and manage the basic requirements of the Red Cross’ response in times of disaster or emergency within their local communities. However in large scale disasters where there is no Red Cross branch presence, they may be dispatched to response outside of their own communities.
“We expect that Red Cross branch officers/managers and volunteers are well skilled and experience to be deployed within their communities or to other provinces. This training will enable them to work independently on the ground in times of disaster as frontline of Red Cross in the field to support the Society partners such as assisting the Provincial Government, Community Disaster climate Change Committees (CDCCC’s)” stated Mr Garae.
Participants will go through several sessions of understanding the history of the Red Cross, the significance and the use of the emblem, the seven fundamental principles and the different components of the Red Cross movement, also the behavior standard for field personnel
The ERT training is being held according the mandate of Red Cross to respond to communities after a disaster, and that is the objective of Vanuatu Red Cross Society to strengthen its branches on preparedness and response program from National level and provincial level including communities.
“Such training is held once a year and it is to build the capacity of all Red Cross branches team to be able to conduct a disaster assessment in the field, be able to develop a need analysis, be able to undertake Resources mobilization, to understand distribution of relief items, to produce regular and meaningful situation reports and leave the training willing and able to respond on behalf of Red Cross to a disaster in their area’’ said DM coordinator Garae.
Malampa branch is also running the same training facilitated by Logistic support officer Henry Jackson and Disaster officer Jelson Naparau while Tafea Branch training is conducted by branch manager Charlie Kichikichi and DM Coordinator Augustin Garae .