Ni Van attends 2 weeks DRR training under Singapore-Japan partnership program

VIPAM Acting Manager, James Melteres attended the 2-week training programme under the Singapore and Japan partnership.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has welcomed back Acting Manager of the Vanuatu Institute of Public Administration and Management (VIPAM) James Melteres, after he participated in a 2-week training on Disaster Risk Management (DRR) in Japan and Singapore.

Mr Melteres said it is the first time for a Ni-Vanuatu to participate in a joint Japan-Singapore partnership programme for the 21{sup}st{/sup} century in coordinating the DRR programme in Asia.

The programme was designed to share basic knowledge on preparedness, mitigation and response to natural disasters such as earthquake, flooding, landslide, cyclone and tsunami and manmade disaster such as fire.

It also provided a clear direction, approaches and strategy on disaster preparedness and emergency response on recovery/reconstruction based on experiences in Japan.

This will help participants to get sound knowledge to improve the situation on disaster risk reduction and management in participant’s respective country.

He said during their training, they had visited sites on Japan and Singapore not only to relate the DRR responses, but both countries have proposed that in addressing the matters participants be allowed to create their own context to address DRR in each individual’s respective country, including Vanuatu. He stated that each participant also shared the challenges faced in their countries.

Mr Melteres said that in Singapore, mostly man-made disasters, such as fire, are the major issues there.

He mentioned that both natural and man-made disasters are the leading attributes to global disasters nowadays.

The Acting VIPAM Mangager said in Japan they went through an earthquake simulation exercise in an elevator, where they had to address an effective plan for such incidents.

During the training, participants had also come up with an action plan to address DRR in in their countries. Mr Melteres said that he is working closely with the government authorities towards the implementation of the programmes. He said Vanuatu is the world’s most disaster-prone country.

According to Mr Melteres, for four years running, Vanuatu has been ranked the world’s most disaster-prone country in an annual World Risk Report published by the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS). He stated that Vanuatu, should effectively have a DRR in place to address its current disaster status.

He stated lack of coordination on DRR training implementation within line ministries and NGOs have seen disaster addressed in Vanuatu not effective. Mr Melteres further stated that the action plan seeks to take DRR in Vanuatu to another direction for more effective advocacy.

He further acknowledged the Singapore cooperation programme, JICA and the Vanuatu Government for allowing him to partake in the training to address DRR and looks forward to the implementation of the action plans.

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