Women play important role in Disaster Response

Women are playing a very important and significant role in disaster management, especially during the response and recovery activities for the Tropical Cyclones (TC) Judy and Kevin.

The Director General (DG) at the Prime Minister’s Office, Cherol Ala, described the ongoing disaster operations as “a (team sport) because when the government moves it connects all Government agencies, development partners, and non-government organizations.”

She said for the first time, Vanuatu adopted a different approach during the response and recovery process after a natural disaster.

“We have changed the old way of work (for the transition from response to recovery) from six months to three months” she said.

DG Ala relayed that this innovative approach is led by her office under the leadership of the Prime Minister and Government of the day.

She expressed that she is very proud of the women who take-up the DG leadership role which allow the male Director Generals to consider and ultimately, follow their counterpart female DGs’ advice.

“Where and when there is compact women leadership, results are forthcoming.” she stated.

The DG of the Ministry of Climate Change Adaptation, Esline Garaebiti Bule, is also the Chairlady of the National Disaster Committee (NDC).

This Committee is responsible for guiding the implementation of disaster risk management policies that are implemented by National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and its Clusters (which are made up of members of the Government, Non-Government Organizations, and our Development Partners).

She confirms that operations for these disaster events have changed, with respect to the timeline of response efforts. These changes are necessary to minimize the transition phase between the response and recovery activities, so that the return of communities to normalcy is accelerated.

“This time there is a balance in decision making because there are men leading the government and the women are administering the affairs of the nation” she said.

DG Bule believes that, “once you dedicate yourself to serving the Government and the people of Vanuatu with all your heart, it opens more doors to recognition and support at the regional and international level.”


Photo supplied Caption: Director General (DG) of Prime Minister’s Office, Cherol Ala


Tensly Sumbe