15 September 2020, Honiara, Solomon Islands – A sub-national workshop to raise awareness and train key sub-national stakeholders to understand and correctly interpret sub-seasonal to monthly to seasonal scale, extreme rainfall and impact information in the Early Action Rainfall (EAR) Watch bulletin in order to effectively disseminate and communicate to communities was conducted last week in Solomon Islands.
The workshop, which was held from 7 – 8 September at the Heritage Park Hotel in Honiara, was organised by the Solomon Islands National Meteorological Services with assistance from the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, Australian Government-funded Climate and Oceans Support Program in the Pacific (COSPPac) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). The workshop was funded by the French Red Cross, World Vision, Australian Pacific Climate Partnership and COSPPac.
Mr David Hiba, Director of the Solomon Islands National Meteorological Services in his opening remarks stated that the main purpose of the EAR Watch is to provide sectors with information on rainfall variation over the past 12 months and rainfall predictions for the next three months to help them better plan, prepare, and respond to prolonged periods of dry (drought) and wet conditions that could trigger secondary impacts such as the outbreak of water-borne diseases.
“This workshop is the first of its kind for the Met Service to engage partners from NGO’s working with people with disabilities and Women’s groups, and it’s great to hear from them on how we can tailor the EAR watch information to suit their needs and the people within their networks”
The main goal of the workshop was to help participants understand and interpret the EAR watch bulletin as well as identifying appropriate traditional and local drought preparedness and coping strategies to provide additional guidance in the EAR Watch bulletin. According to a representative from the Ministry of Agriculture, they “appreciated the EAR Watch workshop especially the discussions on the timescales and the impacts on root and vegetable crops”.
Mr Lloyd Tahani, Deputy Director of the Solomon Islands National Meteorological Services confirmed that the workshop was a success as it was able to identify differentiated information, access, and communication needs of different social groups within communities – such as women, youth, and people with disabilities, and identify priorities for developing, or modifying further simplified EAR Watch information products and services targeted to these group needs. To ensure the engagement process and communication was clear, the workshop included a sign-language interpreter.
The EAR Watch process has been replicated in Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, PNG, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
For more information please contact Mr Philip Malsale at [email protected].