“Women community leaders in East and West Malo have mobilised and organised the women in the community to participate in the Rapid Needs Assessment (RNA),” says Anne Pakoa from Vanuatu Young Women for Change.
This women-led RNA led by Shifting the Power Coalition partners, ActionAid Vanuatu (AAV) and Vanuatu Young Women for Change (VYWC), is providing a safe space for women to share firsthand how TC Harold brought destruction to their communities, as well as provide recommendations for a localised response that will put protection of their safety and dignity at its centre. Working with Vanuatu Disability Promotion & Advocacy Association, also part of the Coalition, the inclusion of women with disabilities is also an important focus:
“167 Women from East and West Malo, including young women and women with disabilities actively expressed their views and shared ideas of what they were experiencing. We have been able to document their recommendations for response and recovery through consultations with key community leaders and women’s collectives in Amabelao for East Malo and Avunatari for West Malo,” says Flora Vano, ActionAid Vanuatu’s Country Programme Manager adding “This three day assessment in Malo has focused on supporting deeper contextual analysis and supporting the agency of women from affected communities in driving response efforts rather than being passive recipients of aid.”
“According to respondents in Amapaleo community, 1500 households have been severely affected by TC Harold, leaving them with severe water issues including contaminated water sources and limited access to water. The issues of water impurities and lack of water access has implications for women and girls, women living with disabilities, children and entire families. These hardships include women walking long distances to have daily baths in the sea and increasing costs in collecting water for household use. The WASH Cluster must urgently address these issues including attending to water purification and urgent repairs of water pipes,” says Anne Pakoa.