|Lami (Image Source: flickr.com)|
The people of Lami Town, Fiji are being empowered to combat the impacts of climate change through a partnership between the Fiji Government and the United Nations Habitat.
The Climate Change Action in Urban Centres began in 2010 and is a pilot project that to enable the people in adapting and mitigating climate change impacts at community level.
The project was showcased at the 17th Conference of Parties delegates in Durban, South Africa during a side event with the hope to create more awareness and welcome further assistance to continue the project.
Fiji’s Director of Environment Mr Jope Davetanivalu said, “Lami town is vulnerable to coastal erosion and flooding from the nearby rivers that surround the town and the Lami Town Council and the Government has been spending a lot of money to try and rehabilitate the area against natural disasters.”
He added that through the community mobilisation the council was able to develop the Disaster Risk Management Plan to act as their strategy in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
“So far from the coastal erosion point of view, the council has utilised tyres that are creating rubbish to act as a seawall or seabed toward coastal erosion, secondly the vehicles are running on bio-fuel and thirdly they have changed their light bulbs to the more economical one which consumes less energy.
“And on top of that they have undertaken community mobilisation of many business communities, local communities, villages and settlements in Lami.
Mr Davetanivalu is glad that the health component is taken into consideration in regards to climate change, mitigation and adaptation which is often left aside.
“The Lami Health Unit works well with the Ministry of Hope by helping the communities on the health effects of climate change.”
|Chief Executive Officer of the |
LamiTown Council Ms Priya Ieli
Lami town is adjacent to Suva, the capital of Fiji and is home to 22,000 people located near the near the coast with five rivers running through it which makes it highly vulnerable.
“The area is mostly an industrial and manufacturing area and also reclaimed so we are vulnerable and we need take action now,” said the Chief Executive Officer of the Lami Town Council Ms Priya Ieli
“We have been meeting with the ministry of the local government on the issue of resettlement that are along the coastal area, through the Vulnerability and Adaptation there is a lot that can be achieved.”
The concept of the project was presented to the Lami Town Council in which they took ownership of and has been successfully assisting the people in the area ever since.
The project tends to continue with no definite end time and Lami plans to target more problematic areas for example the mainstreaming of climate change into the budgeting, and the policy development process.