Papua New Guinea is a disaster prone area that face continuous flooding after heavy rains, landslides, droughts and earthquakes among many other disasters.
A recent assessment carried out by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the National Disaster Centre found that even the highlands are in risk of flooding and landslides. Western Highlands and Simbu Province are regularly impacted by floods especially those living along the rivers and flood plains.
These two provinces are now part of five provinces in PNG featured in a risk assessment report produced by a team of experts from the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES) and supported by technical specialists from relevant institutions of Papua New Guinea.
In recent efforts, UNDP and partner organisations have been working together to reduce the risk of communities becoming vulnerable in times of natural disasters.
This year in June, a national disaster risk framework was drafted to ensure that PNG successfully address immediate and long-term disaster risk management challenges in affected communities.
While efforts have been made to contain these natural disasters, it should also be noted that we are not facing these challenges alone.
The International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) was recognized after a call by the United Nations General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction.
Held every October 13, the IDDR recognizes people and communities around the world that are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of in the risks that they face.
The 2017 campaign seeks to raise global awareness about effective actions, policies and practices taken to reduce exposure to disaster risk at the community level, thereby contributing to saving homes and livelihoods.
Although PNG may have a long way to go, we are however, one step closer to reaching resilient communities facing the harsh challenges of climate change.