Meet Robert Kinika, a World Vision staff member based in the town of Kirakira, in the Solomon Islands province of Makira.
When a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck on December 9, 2016, Robert was among World Vision staff members who were deployed into the disaster area with the government assessment and response team.
The earthquake damaged over 1000 homes, twenty schools and four clinics. Families fled to higher ground in fear of a tsunami, with many living in the bush for days.
In response to the earthquake, Robert and the World Vision team distributed shelter kits, made up of tools to help families rebuild their homes or build temporary shelter; hygiene kits, containing soap and toiletries; and blankets to more than 2300 people in communities in Makira.
Despite the intensity of the earthquake, no lives were lost in Makira and injuries were limited in the hard-hit Weather Coast area. Only one death, a little girl, was recorded in Guadalcanal.
Robert believes the training communities received as part of a previous World Vision Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction project helped them act quickly in response to the earthquake.
“Communities that took part in the project put their skills and knowledge to practice, to the benefit of families, women and children,” said Robert.
“When the earthquake hit, families moved to locations designated as evacuation sites. The children knew where to go and they were often the first to get to these sites before their parents,” said Robert.
Robert says World Vision is well placed to respond to disasters in Makira Province, especially with its pre-positioned relief supplies in Kirakira.
“The size and quality of our pre-positioned supplies determined our response. The bigger and better our supply the better we can respond and people will be satisfied,” said Robert.
The Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Project which was supported by the Government of Australia and ran for three years and finished in mid 2015.