How some Pacific women are responding to climate change and natural disasters
By Neena Bhandari
The WWW [Women's Weather Watch] programme is giving women in remote areas access to appropriate timely information, and building their capacity and confidence to communicate complex scientific weather and climate information from the Meteorological Department in simple “disaster ready” warnings to prepare for cyclones, floods, droughts and volcanic eruptions.
“Women in my community are taking lead in disaster preparedness, emergency and humanitarian crises situations. Our husbands are beginning to acknowledge this transformation,” Robyn told IPS.
“It is a two-way communication process which is enabling women to become leaders in disaster planning and adaptation. For example, women leaders will message the hub that a cyclone is approaching and we don’t have water supply. We relay this information to the Department of Water so they can help the community.
“Each woman leader looks after three to four villages and in each village, the women convene their own sister circles. They communicate weather alerts in local languages so women can understand and take requisite action. For example, if there is a gale-force wind warning, we explain that this level of wind speed means it can move a thatched roof house or if there is a mango or coconut tree near the house, there is high probability of it falling and damaging the house,” Vano added.