Rural Community Media Network




Example - 29 May 2013

With the forecast for more turbulent weather, FemLINKPacific has activated our Women's Weather Watch and contacted women through our "1325" rural community media network:

In Nausori, correspondent Paulin Fong reports communities living close to the Rewa River are once again monitoring the water levels; the colour and pace of the of the river also indicates heavy rain fall in the mountains even though all they are experiencing at around 330pm were heavy winds.

(Nausori is a town in Fiji and reportedly the fourth most populous municipality in the country. Situated 19 kilometers out of Suva, it forms one pole of the burgeoning Suva-Nausori corridor.)

She voiced concern that there were no indication of what might be evacuation procedures especially if the river rises to the dangerous levels experienced in recent times.
Many women are remaining indoors due to the high winds.

According to our Tavua correspondent, Fane Lomani low lying areas like Yaladro and Balata were flooded yesterday 28/5 due to the heavy rainfall and women from the rural network had also remained indoors because the rain had damaged already poor access roads.

While no flooding damage has been reported by the women remained positive as sunshine peaked through the heavy grey clouds.

She also reported that there was no local information about evacuation procedures.

30 minutes away in Ba town, Dorothy Bali of the Ba Seniors Centre is well aware of the implications of heavy rainfall and storms, especially for the elderly and so she is keeping her fingers crossed that the current good weather will prevail in Ba.

And similar reports were made by Losana Derenalagi in Nadi and Lucille Chute in Labasa.

The Pacific Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (October 2012) reaffirms that protection of women’s and girls’ human rights during humanitarian crises such as floods and storms and so it is critical that early evacuation procedures and systems are highlighted through public and community media systems to ensure the safety and protection of women, children, the elderly, persons with disabilities as well as persons from diverse groups.

The prevention of sexual and gender-based violence is critical and should include policies to ensure women and girls’ access to health, psychosocial, legal and protection in times of humanitarian emergency and in reconstruction and rehabilitation after conflict and crisis.

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls  M+6799244871  www.femlinkpacific.org.fj  FemLINKPacific is the Pacific Secretariat of GPPAC (Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict)


Saturday 01 June, 2013

(Suva is the capital and the second most populated municipality of Fiji, after Nasinu. It is located on the southeast coast of the island of Viti Levu, in the Rewa Province, Central Division.)

"Today is the day that we depend on making the most as many come to shop but the weather is just not helping. It is very bad in the market as we have some leakage in the market from the roof and this rain is not helping at all," said the President of the Nausori Market Vendors Association, Salote Delau.

It was 8:30 am and shoppers and market vendors together were contemplating how to manage as the rain persisted and they spoke to FemLINKPacific correspondent-convenor in Nausori, Paulin Fong:

"I just dont really know what to say we sit outside no shelter with our produce and look what is happening .These are the times when we want to sell and make the most on Saturdays and the weather spoils everything," lamented Raijeli Toanivere of Kuiva who sells at the Nausori Market every Saturday.

Reshmi Kiran travelled from Vusiya to Nausori town:

"As I was coming from Vusiya to town with the rain all night and strong wind I can see alot of small not very big branches on the way fallen from trees"

As the women continue to monitor the weather it is clear that reliable and regular information including SMS messages and radio alerts are needed so that vulnerable communities are able to quickly mobilise for evacuation.

Health programmes will also be needed to prevent the spread of water-borne diseses.

Local women community leaders must also be included in all planning and disaster management and response strategies.

Meanehile, Arieta Veiqaravi like many of the residents living close to the banks of the Nausori River is monitoring the river level at Vunimono Village: "No the level of the river is not rising but the rubbish from the top like bamboos and others are being pushed down and we can see all the rubbish but so far it is like that a lot of rain but if it gets worse
I really do not know as no one has come to inform us."

For Nanise Cakau, who lives at Nausori Village, the danger signs are as close as the front door: "If the compound around my house collects water then I know I am danger. Everything is just muddy now."

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls  M+6799244871  www.femlinkpacific.org.fj  FemLINKPacific is the Pacific Secretariat of GPPAC (Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict)

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls - sharon@femlinkpacific.org.fj