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 & Response Plans
The Regional Food Security Atlas of the Pacific is a joint publication by the Pacific Community (SPC) and the World Food Programme(WFP).
The 2018 Atlas provides a spatial overview of the core issues that affect food security across the Pacific Island Countries (PICs). Divided into nine topical sections, the Atlas provides the reader with information and knowledge on the causes and outcomes of food security and nutrition in the region.
Over 400 school students at the Arya Kanya Pathshala School in Ba, in Fiji’s Western division, will now benefit from a new ablution block which includes new toilets, hand washing and shower facilities, following its opening in Ba today.
The ablution block has been constructed through the European Union (EU) funded Micro Projects Programme (MPP), implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC). The facilities were opened by the Deputy Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Sakeasi Waikere.
As part of an ongoing effort to promote disability-inclusive humanitarian action in Pacific countries, this policy brief identifies priority actions for disaster readiness, response and recovery. It has been prepared through a collaborative approach and should be a key reference in the future, promoting coordination across all levels and stages of the humanitarian cycle in the Region.
Promoting inclusion in Pacific humanitarian action
This final report marks the conclusion of the Tropical Cyclone Winston Emergency Appeal operation that spanned a 19-month period from 22 February 2016 to 30 September 2017. The Fiji Red Cross Society, with IFRC support, reached 77,000 people in the areas of health and care; water, sanitation and hygiene promotion; shelter and settlements (and household items); shelter recovery; restoring family links; National Society capacity building and quality programming.
"Fijians are very happy people. They brush things away. But with this one, it was very hard to pick up again"
by Laurie Goering | @lauriegoering | Thomson Reuters Foundation Monday, 26 March 2018 00:30 GMT
SUVA, March 26 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The first wave that slammed into the beach-front community of Nasau, on Fiji's Koro island, swept away every home in view.
by Jesse Doyle
The Pacific Unsolicited Bilateral Donations (UBD) project is the first regionally coordinated approach aimed at reducing the number of UBD arrivals during humanitarian and disaster response.
KEY FACTS & FIGURES
Establishment of Pacific Shelter Cluster: 2012, Fiji: 2012, Solomon Islands: 2014, Vanuatu: 2014, Tonga, Samoa, Marshall Islands: in process Recent activations: Feb 2016 TC Winston in Fiji, March 2015 TC Pam in Vanuatu.
Recent national responses with regional support and number of people reached with emergency shelter:
Makira EQ/tsunami in Solomon Islands 5,004
TC Donna in Vanuatu 2,564
By Pascal Laureyn
This article is part of a series about the activists and communities of the Pacific and small island states who are responding to the effects of climate change. Leaders from climate and social justice movements from around the world met in Suva, Fiji from 4-8 December for International Civil Society Week.
Disasters can present an opportunity for countries not only to rebuild infrastructure, but also to tackle gender inequality
By Lin Taylor
SUVA, Fiji, Dec 27 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Cyclone Winston pummelled through Fiji last year, the largest storm recorded in the southern hemisphere, Sofia Talei's taro and cassava crops were destroyed, leaving her livelihood as a farmer uncertain.
"I was so desperate. All the effort we put into it was destroyed after a few hours," Talei, 33, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
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
BONN, Germany, Nov 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Cyclone Winston smashed into Fiji last year, killing 44 people and destroying more than a dozen villages, people who found themselves without homes got on boats.
13 November, 2017, Bonn, Germany – Islands are experiencing an increase in the intensity of tropical cyclones, and this will become the new normal.
This was the key message during yesterday’s joint side event between Climate Analytics, and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), held during the Twenty-third United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) in Bonn, Germany this week, 6-17 November, 2017.
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