April 30, 2019
Michihiko Tonouchi (Mr.)
Project team leader
The republic of Vanuatu (hereinafter as ‘Vanuatu') is an islands country, vulnerable for natural disasters, ranked as the highest risk country for natural disasters on ‘World Risk Index 2018' published by United Nation University. For instance, the strong cyclone Pam in 2015, the evacuation of the entire population in Ambrym island after the volcanic eruption in May 2018, and, the tsunami hit in southern islands of Vanuatu brought by the earthquake in New Caledonian in December 2018, were recorded as the historical disasters in Vanuatu. In order to prevent disasters and minimize its damages or losses, disaster prevention correspondence for natural disasters is one of the crucial key issues in Vanuatu.
Under this context, the government of Vanuatu and the government of Japan agreed and exchanged the notes for the grant aid project, namely ‘The Project for Improvement of Equipment for Disaster Risk Management' and JICA started installation and construction of broadband seismometers, intensive seismometers, tide gauges and Automatic Weather Station network.
Then Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department (VMGD) and National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) under the Ministry of Climate Change Adaptation, Meteorology, Geo-Hazards, Environment, Energy and Disaster Management (MoCCA) requested a technical cooperation project to Japan, to strengthen observation and analysis ability for earthquake, tsunami and storm surge and to enhance warning dissemination ability. Based on the Record of Discussion signed in July 2017, the VMGD/NDMO and JICA launched the technical cooperation project "The Project for Enhancing the Capacity of Issuing earthquake, Tsunami and Storm Surge Information" in March 2019.
Group photo of 1st JCC attendees.
Before the launch of the project, the project team implemented Baseline Survey, to survey monitoring, forecasting and issuance frameworks/system/abilities for earthquake, tsunami and storm surge warnings. Through discussions with VMGD/NDMO the project team summarized the Work Plan. Based on the survey results and work plan, VMGD/NDMO and JICA held the 1st Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting in 18th of April 2019 and confirmed/agreed project activities, implementing schedule, project goals, and the 3 years technical cooperation project has officially started.
The team has the pleasure of the Japanese ambassador to Vanuatu, Ms. Katsumata's company on the JCC, has an opportunity for introduction of VMGD disaster monitoring/forecasting and warning issuance system and received an expectation for Japanese contribution for enhancing disaster prevention abilities of Vanuatu. The ambassador expressed the project to contribute for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Vanuatu through Ni-Vanuatu and Japanese knowledge sharing and whole participants discussed and agreed the project activities and target goals.
Introduction of VMGD disaster monitoring system to the Japanese ambassador to Vanuatu
During the Baseline Survey, on-site survey in Anaityum island was reported and broadcasted by TV Vanuatu on the evening news of 17th April. Furthermore, Vanuatu newspaper ‘Daily Post' reported the 1st JCC on 20th April morning edition. The team (VMGD/NDMO and JICA) intends to transfer/share both experiences continuously and to enhance DRR abilities through 3 years project.