Disaster Response Management Plans developed for Auki and Honiara Central Market

Date: Friday, June 9, 2017

[Press Release]

Solomon Islands — For the first time two Solomon Islands markets, Auki and Honiara Central Markets have plans ready to ensure safety at a time of disaster thanks to the collaborative efforts of partners engaged in the UN Women Markets for Change project.

Honiara participant group photo, including market vendors, market staff and Municipal Disaster Officer. Photo: UN Women/Collin Potokana

Over the past two weeks, UN Women’s Markets for Change (M4C) project has partnered with the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and provincial counterparts based at Honiara City Council and Malaita Provincial Government, market managers and vendors from Auki and Honiara Central Markets to develop disaster response management (DRM) plans and action plans.

Honiara Partners listen to UN Women discussing action and disaster plans. Photo: UN Women/Collin Potokana

Collin Potakana, National Project Coordinator for UN Women’s Markets for Change in Solomon Islands explained that: “Having these plans at the market place will support market vendors, especially women who comprise the majority of market vendors.”

“Statistically, women are more vulnerable to natural disasters – 77 per cent of those who died in the 2004 Tsunami in Ache Province, Indonesia were women and girls. The development and implementation of the DRM plans will help to ensure that not only are market vendors’ needs and issues addressed but also that relevant skills and disaster awareness are provided to enhance vendors’ capacity to prepare for disasters, and to better cope during and after a disaster,” Mr Potakana said.

As part of M4C’s project, the implementation of these DRM plans and action plans at these two markets will also ensure that the market buildings are more resilient to disaster risks including climate change, thereby making the market environment more comfortable and safer for market vendors.

Patson Ata, Auki Market Vendors Association Vice President stated that: “Before, we did not have any Disaster Risk Management Plans [for the market]. Having this plan in place makes us feel safer because the DRM Plans will really help the market vendors to know what to do before, during and after disasters.”

The work also supports the NDMO work at the national, provincial and municipal level.

Auki Partners Partners involved in the development of the market disaster management plan. Photo: UN Women/Collin Potokana

Nelson Anaia, Municipal Disaster Officer based at Honiara City Council stated that: “The National Disaster Risk Management Plan 2017 emphasized that disaster risk management must be strengthened at the national, provincial and municipal levels.

“The DRM plan is one of the needs that other communities, business houses, public offices and public spaces should have. Having this plan for the market will help market management to improve its systems to ensure that market vendors, visitors or general public are safe during disasters. The Plan will also improve the general knowledge about disasters in the market place,” Mr Anaia said.

This activity is a follow-up of the Market Vulnerability Assessment conducted in July 2016 at Auki and Honiara markets by UN Women and the NDMO to inform research about the impacts of disasters including climate change on the markets and livelihoods. These activities are progressing in response to the impacts of recent disasters in the Pacific region, and climate change, on food producers, markets and market vendors.

M4C is a six-year, multi-country initiative that aims to ensure marketplaces in rural and urban areas of Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory, promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. A UN Women project, Markets for Change is implemented in partnership with UNDP and principally funded by the Australian Government.

Media enquiries should be directed to:

Sharon Tohaimae
Communications and Monitoring and Evalutation Officer,
UN Women, Markets for Change, UN Women
Phone: (+677) 22463
Email: sharon.tohaimae@unwomen.org

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

UN Women’s Markets for Change project: UN Women’s Markets for Change (M4C) project is a key component of its Women’s Economic Empowerment programme. M4C is a six-year, multi-country initiative that aims to ensure marketplaces in rural and urban areas of Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory, promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. A UN Women project, Markets for Change is implemented in partnership with UNDP and principally funded by the Australian Government.

Between 75-90 per cent of vendors working at Pacific marketplaces are women and their earnings often make up a significant portion of the incomes of many poor households. Despite this, women are often excluded from market governance and decision-making. M4C works with stakeholders, service providers and the market vendors themselves to: build and support inclusive, effective and representative advocacy groups; deliver appropriate services, training and interventions; ensure women’s voices are heard and taken into account at the decision-making level; and to improve physical infrastructure and operating systems.

For further information

Please visit:
fiji.asiapacific.unwomen.org
www.facebook.com/unwomenpacific
www.twitter.com/unwomenpacific