Tropical Cyclone Winston - Feb 2016
On 20 and 21 February Category 5 Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston cut a path of destruction across Fiji. The Fiji Government estimates almost 350,000 people living in the cyclone’s path could have been affected (180,000 men and 170,000 women). The Fiji Government is leading the response to this emergency. The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) is coordinating efforts and has activated National and Divisional Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs). A 30-day State of Natural Disaster has been declared and will expire on March 21. At least 42 people have been confirmed dead. Some 56,000 people are currently sheltering in evacuation centres. (OCHA, 29 Feb 2016)
In Tonga, local media reported approximately 2,500 people inside evacuation centres, with 10 houses destroyed and another 200 damaged. (ECHO, 19 Feb 2016)
On 29 February, the IFRC launched an Emergency Appeal seeking CHF 7 million on a preliminary basis to support the Fiji Red Cross Society (FRCS) to deliver assistance and support to some 38,500 people for 12 months. (IFRC, 29 Feb 2016)
On 21 March, the Government of Fiji extended the State of Natural Disaster in the areas severely affected by the cyclone until 19 April. The Government has revised the number of houses damaged by the cyclone to 32,000, increasing the estimated number of people in need of shelter assistance to 150,000. (OCHA, 23 Mar 2016)
The number of people in evacuation centres has been significantly reduced from 54,000 on 3 March to 337 on 31 March. Of the 26 active evacuation centres, 20 are located on Ovalau in Lomaiviti Province. Several clusters have raised concerns about the required assistance reaching people who had left the centres. A total of 24,800 emergency shelter items have been distributed out of which 11,000 are tents, tarpaulins or shelter kits. However, significant gaps remain in the support to self-recovery phase with no core shelter interventions reported or planned, and only 500 households out of 7,500 targeted having received hardware materials, tools and fixing kits for shelter repairs. (OCHA, 31 Mar 2016)
The cyclone damaged at least 495 schools, 88 health facilities, disrupted basic public services and destroyed crops and livelihoods. According to the post-disaster needs assessment jointly prepared by the government and development partners, total damage and losses from Winston are estimated at $1.42 billion — equivalent to 31% of gross domestic product. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced that it will provide a $50 million emergency assistance loan to the Government of Fiji for short-term financing of disaster recovery reconstruction programs, including school rehabilitation and housing assistance. (ADB, 30 Jun 2016).
Appeals & Funding
- Fiji: Tropical Cyclone Winston Response & Flash Appeal: Final Summary, 13 Jun 2016
- Fiji Flash Appeal: Tropical Cyclone Winston, Feb-May 2016
- IOM Flash appeal Fiji: Tropical Cyclone Winston, 8 Mar 2016
SUBMITTED BY KATHERINE BAKER ON WED, 12/06/2017
People read about climate change every day and we are all familiar with it as a concept. While we understand that steps need to be taken to address the risks; its impact often feels harder to imagine. We assume that the impacts are something we will experience in the future.
Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu is UN High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.
Early results of Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems initiative presented at climate change conference
Vulnerable communities in Africa and the Pacific and Caribbean are now benefiting from improved early warning systems against extreme weather as part of an international drive to boost resilience and climate change adaptation. But further investments are needed to reduce the risks from hazards like tropical cyclones, floods and drought.
by Laurie Goering | @lauriegoering | Thomson Reuters Foundation
"We want movement in a controlled way, rather than in a panic" says director-general of Fiji Red Cross
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13 November, 2017, Bonn, Germany – Islands are experiencing an increase in the intensity of tropical cyclones, and this will become the new normal.
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After learning hard lessons, Pacific Island states are exerting greater control when disasters strike. But is the aid sector prepared to change?
Fiji is an island nation with ambitious development goals. Its 5- and 20-year National Development Plan aims to more than double the real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita by 2036 and to provide universal access to all services. However, Fiji faces major threats from natural disasters and climate change that threaten the objectives of the country’s Development Plan. By 2050, climate change could increase the cost of cyclones and floods to 6.5% of GDP, and push 32,400 people into poverty per year.
Climate Risk Index shows vulnerability of small island states
Increased intensity of storms takes a toll on small island states and poor countries / Since 1997, over 520,000 people have been killed by more than 11,000 extreme weather events
"Have we created a situation for small island developing states where resilience may not necessarily be achievable?"
By Alex Whiting
BONN, Germany, Nov 7 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Unless emissions can be drastically and quickly curbed, efforts by small island nations to adapt to climate change may be in vain, a leader of a group of small island nations said Tuesday.
SUVA, Fiji, Nov 8 2017 (IPS) - In the Pacific, climate change is an ever-present threat, undermining human rights, livelihoods, and security. Pacific Islanders are working with courage and resolve to build the resilience of their communities and to catalyse international actions towards ending global carbon pollution.
In February 2016, Tropical Cyclone Winston devastated Fiji, showing the heightened vulnerability of people living in the Pacific Islands, where climate change has led to a series of increasingly severe cyclones in the recent years. With farms, markets, including the Rakiraki Market and its accommodation centre for rural women destroyed, livelihoods of market vendors such as Varanisese Maisamoa were compromised. But today, through UN Women’s Markets for Change (M4C) project, Maisamoa, aged 39 years, has not only got back on her feet, she has also become a strong leader in her community.
Fiji, November 7, 2017 - The province of Ra is one of the strongest, most ethnically and linguistically diverse communities in all of Fiji, with over 86 villages and a population of 29,464 (2007 census). And it is also well recognized for keeping traditional Fijian values like vei lomani - directly translated as ‘love in action’ - alive.
Over the past decades in the Pacific, schools have been used by students, families and internally displaced people as unplanned and sometimes long-term shelters during disasters, by students, families and internally displaced people. They have also been occupied by fighting forces during conflict.
These conditions have disrupted education, caused damage to educational facilities and equipment, and put children at risk of abuse, neglect and exploitation. This has given rise to calls from policy makers and field practitioners for guidance.
After more than 5 years of living in temporary housing, the community of Tukuraki in the highlands of Fiji are today celebrating as they move into their newly built, disaster resilient village. The Tukuraki community was devastated in 2012 as a landslide buried 80% of their village and tragically took the lives of a young family including a toddler and young baby.
This year’s State of the Environment for Oceania report focuses on people’s changing relationship with the seas that surround us, and how Oceania communities and governments are responding to today’s environmental challenges.
Beneath the surface of the waves, the temperature, volume and chemistry of our oceans is changing. A major report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature said the world is ‘completely unprepared’ for the impact of warming oceans on marine life, ecosystems, and people.
Vanuatu and Fiji are experiencing climate-induced disasters that are continuously increasing in both scale and frequency. Both nations have been struck by a number of disastrous cyclones over the past three years – most notably Cyclone Pam, which struck Vanuatu in 2015 and Cyclone Winston, which struck Fiji in 2016.
In response, ActionAid is supporting women in Fiji and Vanuatu to lead community efforts to strengthen their resilience to increasing disasters.
Monday 2 October 2017 (Suva, Fiji) – “Humanitarian preparedness and response must include the voices and action of all in society, to ensure that humanitarian assistance is just, inclusive, safe and dignified,” said Noelene Nabulivou, political advisor of Diverse Voices for Action and Equality (DIVA for Equality).
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Eighteen (18) months into the operation, with completion of all field activities, this report aims to inform changes between the previous revised budget of December 2016 and the current revised budget. The appeal budget has been revised following clearance of current outstanding National Society working advances and the reconciliation of the appeal budget with expenses recorded. The appeal budget is now revised with a slight decrease from CHF4,421,455 to CHF 4,386,307.
This update extends the operation’s timeframe by one month, until 30 September 2017. The extension is to allow for the clearance of outstanding National Society working advance and the reconciliation of the appeal budget with expenses recorded. An Operations Update will be issued in late September to reflect the revision of plan of action.
All programmatic implementation has been completed. The final evaluation will be carried out in late October and the findings will be reflected in the Final Report expected by 31 December 2017.