AUSAID, OXFAM execs happy over CCA-DRR mitigating measures by Surigao LGUs

by Ben Serrano

December 17, 2010


            SURIGAO CITY (PNA) - Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid) Minister Counselor for Development Cooperation Titon Mitra and Oxfam’s Country Director Snehai Soneji claimed they were happy over initiatives initially made by ten Caraga communities for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction.


            The ten Caraga municipalities, five from Surigao del Sur and five from Surigao del Norte were chosen as pilot project areas under AusAid and Oxfam’s Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Project.


            In a speech before more than one hundred participants in the two-day Sharing Session and Site Visit on DRR-CCA Initiatives at Philippine Gateway Hotel and Convention Center here Tuesday, Mitra said that although there has some areas of concerns on CCA-DRR initiatives that needs to be address and improved, by and large, the sharing session was successful because communities were able to identify areas and produced disaster hazard maps


            “The most important achievement since this project was conceptualized was that communities like yours were able to make public awareness and advocacies needed for communities to act as one for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction” Mitra said.


            Oxfam’s Snehai Soneji on the other hand told participants that Oxfam and AusAid can’t offer solution or cure for all on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation issues and concerns faced by said communities.


            “At the end of the day, it is these communities helped empowered by us who can help themselves when time comes”, the Oxfam official said.


            When asked during press open forum if they can duplicate initiatives they made successfully for the ten selected communities, the foreign aid officials replied their limited resources may not enough to accommodate other Caraga communities for same project implementation.


            “What is important is that these ten pilot communities we are helping now for capability-building processes may help other communities in Caraga region to share or duplicate what we did to them “, Oxfam’s Soneji said.


            Aside from capability building seminars, workshops and other activities, Oxfam and AusAid are providing financial assistance for said ten communities in acquiring life boats, other life saving equipment in times of disaster and disaster warning devices.


             Oxfam with funding support from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the Safer Communities Project was an 18 month project which aimed to come up with a systematic consolidation of community-based good practices and information linking disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA).  

This is meant to promote a culture of learning, sharing and application towards improving the capacity of men and women in vulnerable communities. 

While Integrating DRR-CCA in Local Planning, a project being funded by UNDP and AusAID is a project whose principal objective is for key stakeholders to be able to manage environment and natural resources, develop and use sustainable energy sources, cope with the impacts of environmental emergencies and maintain sustainable development.

The READY PROJECT for communities with funding support from AusAID on the other hand is implemented by Philippine weather forecasting agency, PAG-ASA. It is now operational in many parts of the country. At the heart of the READY Project is the recognition that preparedness by cataloguing natural and man-made hazards is key to averting the catastrophic impacts of disasters. (PNA/Ben Serrano)