Tongatapu and ‘Eua post-cyclone recovery strengthens local community skills and capacity
Post-cyclone recovery efforts in water supply and sanitation in the highly impacted areas of Tongatapu and ‘Eua are benefiting from a localised skill-building approach implemented by Live & Learn Environmental Education Tonga, funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) through its Australian Aid program.
The two-year ‘WASH Recovery and Resilience in Tonga’ project supports post-cyclone WASH recovery by working closely with national government and local communities. Live & Learn Tonga is working with local communities and their Village Water Committees to provide training in leading localised humanitarian response. Tonga Skills is working with Live & Learn to provide community members with tailor-made accredited trainings to improve their financial and plumbing capacities. Strengthening local community organising, providing tailored training is at the heart of the project approach. The project also explicitly considers the needs of women and girls, as well as people living with disabilities, by embedding gender equity and social inclusion in all aspects of planning and decision-making.
Live & Learn Tonga is also working with the Tonga Institute of Science and Technology to provide second-year students field traineeships through the project, joining Live & Learn Tonga staff implementing plumbing and construction community rehabilitation activities. At the national level, Live & Learn Tonga is working with the Health, Nutrition, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Cluster to jointly review guidelines and develop standards for improved disaster risk preparedness, mitigation and response that will integrate and mainstream approaches that are responsive to gender and social inclusion
In recent years, regional actors, national governments and local communities are being given greater recognition as important players in disaster risk mitigation, preparation, and humanitarian response. As part of an international network of locally managed and staffed offices throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Live & Learn Tonga has always embraced the principle of community localisation and applies it throughout its disaster risk reduction and response programs.