Green Climate Fund, United Nations Development Programme & Government of Samoa assists communities: “Vaisigano Catchment Project Operational Manual Workshop”

The Government of Samoa (GOS) in partnership with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have started the implementation of the “Integrated Flood Management to Enhance Climate Resilience of the Vaisigano River Catchment in Samoa” project referred to as the Vaisigano Catchment Project (VCP).

The project aims to reduce the effect of recurring flood related impacts within the Vaisigano River Catchment. It was designed to strengthen the adaptive capacity and reduce exposure to Climate Risks, infrastructure and the human built environment in the Vaisigano Catchment Area (the river that flows through the Apia Urban Area)for the following vulnerable communities:

  1. Aai o Niue
  2. Avele
  3. Faatoialemanu
  4. Lelata
  5. Leone
  6. Letava
  7. Levili
  8. Magiagi Uta
  9. Maluafou
  10. Matautu Uta
  11. Papauta
  12. Tanugamanono
  13. Vaiala Uta
  14. Vailima
  15. Vaipuna
  16. Vaisigano
  17. Vaoala
  18. Vinifou

With a total project budget of US$65 million WST $168,957,475 million (WST$148 million granted by GCF; WST$20 million co-financed by GOS), the Vaisigano Catchment Project represents the Government’s initial steps in operating a comprehensive flood management solution with three major components:

  1. Assessment and Mechanisms in place for an integrated approach to reduce vulnerability towards flood-related risks.
  2. Infrastructure in the VAISIGANO River are flood-proofed to increase resilience to negative effects of excessive water
  3. Drainage in downstream areas upgraded for increased regulation of water flows.

The two day workshop focused on Activity 2.2 under Output 2, which is to strengthen the adaptive capacity of vulnerable communities and reduce their exposure to flood risk, notably through Ecosystems-based Adaptation (EbA) strategies and enterprise development to enhance vulnerable communities’ incomes. Activity 2.2 focuses on reducing run off during extreme events along the river banks and especially in the upstream catchment areas. In ensuring that key areas remain under conservation and continue to provide optimal ecosystem functions as well as opportunities for land based livelihoods; are crucial in reducing vulnerability and/or enhancing adaptive capacity of communities living in the catchment. This objective will be achieved notably by scaling up activities that have been proven to be effective in supporting climate resilient livelihood options in the Vaisigano River Catchment with a strong focus on gender considerations and other vulnerable groups residing in the Catchment.

During the two day workshop, the participants reviewed and commented on the Draft Operation Manual that will be used as a guide for operations within the 6 year project duration. There were discussions on sub activities under activity 2.2, as well as its implementation phase; discussions on key concepts and project objectives that can assist with the Operational Manual Review; and yhe workshop also identified gaps and actions to be undertaken under Activity 2.2 as well as developing corresponding Monitoring Matrixes.

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