‘Communication needs improvement’

National

By OGIA MIAMEL
COMMUNICATION methods need to be improved in order for community leaders to contact disaster officers in their provinces for quick response during disasters, an official says.
PNG Red Cross Society disaster management emergency officer Freeman Manyavi said yesterday during the Care PNG’s El Nino emergency response wrap-up symposium that communication and accessibility were two challenges rural communities faced during and after disasters.
He said development partners and non-governmental organisations going into communities must ensure there were improved methods and channels of communication before leaving.
Western Highlands disaster coordinator Robin Yakumb said disaster communication improved gradually due to introduction of Digicel and bmobile coverage.
Yakumb said after disaster response programmes it was also important for ongoing assessment and evaluation through community leaders to make sure people were resilient in any future disaster.
Care PNG assistant country director Blossum Gilmour said they had achieved their goals and reached their target with their response programmes last year during the El Nino period.
“Care has transitioned back into our development programmes, so in the Highlands we’re going to work on women empowerment and sexual reproductive health as well as bit of government-run education programme so we transitioned all the staff back and they are starting to do their normal work as well,” she said.
“At the same time we start to have our normal emergency response work going on, it’s no longer short term needs but longer term needs. We’re trying to address them and make the community resilient plan for the next disaster and trying to make sure the communities are less vunerable.”

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