With an increasing number of natural disasters every year, the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) in the Solomon Islands is focusing on helping communities and dioceses prepare. ACOM is setting up committees to coordinate emergency response activities, developing emergency plans in coordination with the Government, and supporting schools to conduct disaster risk assessments.
In 2018, ABM supported ACOM to establish a Disaster Committee for the Diocese of Central Solomons. Fourteen participants gathered for the training in Tulagi at the Diocesan Headquarters to learn about disaster preparedness, disaster response phases, and roles of responsibilities of diocesan committees. The participants worked through the Anglican Pastors & Disasters Toolkit, designed by Episcopal Relief & Development and twelve other Anglican agencies. The toolkit includes theological reflections on disasters, surveys and tools to help mobilise communities and conduct risk assessments, and standards for disaster risk reduction such as early warning systems, evacuation centres and community drills.
Captain Robert Ratu from the ACOM Southern Cross ship said, “I have been involved in the transporting of relief supplies to disaster areas supported by ACOM Disaster Committee, however I have never been given the opportunity to engage or participate in such trainings over the years and it is very important. As the Chief Captain of the Southern Cross I need to know and understand how we can respond to disasters well. The Diocese of Central Solomons Committee will play a major role in coordinating activities on the ground during disasters, and will mobilise resources and volunteers to assist.”
Thank you to all our supporters for making these activities possible as they will save more lives in times of disaster!