Vanuatu is a Y-shaped chain of islands that consists of about 83 islands with a total land area of 12,336 square kilometers. The four largest islands are Espiritu Santo (3677sq km), Malekula (2023 sq km), Erromango (975sq km) and Efate (915 sq km). Efate is the main island of Vanuatu, where the capital Port Vila is situated. Vanuatu has six provinces: Torba, Sanma, Penama, Malampa, Shefa and Tafea. The total population of Vanuatu is approximately 272,000. The population of the capital, Port Vila, is approximately 44,000.
Port Vila is the largest town in the Shefa province on the island of Efate. Luganville is the second largest city located in the Sanma province on the island of Espiritu Santo. Vanuatu has several active volcanoes both on land and undersea, leading to the threat of earthquake and tsunami.
Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu on 14 March 2015 with winds of up to 250 kilometres per hour, and gusts up to 350 kilometres per hour, causing widespread devastation across the country. At the request of the Government, the ETC responded to Cyclone Pam with services and ICT coordination assistance. The ETC provided data communications for the humanitarian operation at 7 sites in the country. Three months after Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu, the ETC concluded its mission in June 2015.
In 2016, the National Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (NETC) was established in Vanuatu as a national coordination mechanism for emergency telecommunications in Vanuatu. The lead of the NETC is the Office of the Government CIO.
The ETC is focussed on preparedness activities in Vanuatu and nearby Pacific Island countries under its Pacific Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) project, lead by WFP.
The Fiji Islands comprise 333 islands in the South Pacific. The population of Fiji is approximately 870,000 people (Fiji Bureau of Statistics, 2015). The capital of Fiji is Suva located on the main island called Viti Levu. Viti Levu is home to approximately 70% of the country's population. The second largest island is Vanua Levu. The main airport is located in Nadi on the western side of Viti Levu. The second major airport is in Nausori, just outside of the capital Suva.
Tropical Cyclone Winston struck the Pacific island of Fiji on Saturday 20 February 2016. The Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) was activated on 15 March with the World Food Programme (WFP) co-leading the communications cluster response with the Government of Fiji for TC Winston.
In 2017, the ETC worked with the Fiji NDMO to improve their HF radio network and communications room at NDMO headquarters in Suva. Since that time the ETC has supported the NDMO to run emergency telecommunications training for response actors.
Contact details and social media channels for the Fiji National Disaster Management Office (NDMO):
The ETC is focussed on preparedness activities in Fiji and nearby Pacific Island countries under its Pacific Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) project, lead by WFP.
Fiji National Disaster Management Office (NDMO)
Department of Communications
Telecommunications Authority of Fiji (TAF)
Source: World Bank 2017
Fiji is located south of the equator in an area known for the frequent occurrence of tropical cyclones with damaging winds, rains and storm surge. Fiji was affected by devastating cyclones multiple times in the last few decades. Fiji is situated in a relatively quiet seismic area but is surrounded by the Pacific “ring of fire,” which aligns with the boundaries of the tectonic plates. These boundaries are extremely active seismic zones capable of generating large earthquakes and, in some cases, major tsunamis traveling great distances. Local faults can also generate damaging earthquakes from time to time. Fiji is expected to incur, on average over the
long term, annual losses of US$85 million due to earthquakes and tropical cyclones. National efforts are being made for to better facilitate, coordinate and manage national disaster risk reduction and disaster management activities for disaster resilience. Efforts are being made to establish development programs aimed at building capacities at national, divisional, district and the local and community levels to ensure the safety and security of the Fiji population and its infrastructure.
Source: World Bank and Fiji NDMO
FJD (Fijian Dollar)
Source: INFORM Risk 2019
Voltage: 110V, Frequency: 60Hz, Plug type: A, B
Source: ITU ICTeye 2017
Source: ITU ICTeye 2017
Source: ITU ICTeye 2017
Source: ITU ICTeye 2017
Source: GSMA Intelligence 2017
Source: GSMA Intelligence 2017
This describes some of the regulations and rules related to emergency telecommunications in Fiji.
This Act seeks to make better provisions for the government and relevant agencies to perform functions and duties in relation to natural disaster management.
The Plan provides a clear vision for adaptation and identifies priorities to be addressed in partnership over the next five years, and beyond.
The Fiji Government decided to strengthen socio-economic growth through its re-farming process that will achieve the migration of analogue TV channel to Digital TV in the coming future, LTE, and other TV stations.
According to Fiji’s national aviation authority, the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji (CAAF), flying a drone is legal in Fiji provided requisite authorizations are taken.
Samoa (formerly known as Western Samoa) consists of two main islands and a collection of smaller islands. The two main islands are Upolu and Savai’i. Upolu is the most populated of Samoa’s two main islands and the location of the country's capital, Apia. The population of Samoa is 195,979 recorded in the last censor dated 2016 (Samoa Bureau of Statistics website). Between the islands of Upolu and Savai’i are the smaller islands of Apolima and Manono.
In addition to the seasonal risk of cyclone, the southern edge of Samoa faces the Tonga Trench leading to the risk of tsunami and earthquake. On 29 September 2009, Samoa was hit by a tsunami, triggered by a magnitude 8.1 earthquake, that caused significant loss of life and damage to the country. Other countries that were affected by the 2009 tsunami were Tonga and American Samoa. Since then the Government of Samoa has been developing their disaster response and early warning capacity to mitigate the risks to the population from natural disasters.
Contact details and social media channels for the Samoa Disaster Management Office (DMO):
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/DMOSamoa/
- Twitter: twitter.com/DMO_Samoa
- Website: https://www.mnre.gov.ws/about-us/divisions/disaster-management-office/
- Email: email@example.com
The ETC is focused on preparedness activities in Samoa and nearby Pacific Island countries under its Pacific Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) project, led by WFP.
Solomon Islands consist of six large islands and over 900 smaller islands. Only one third of the total 992 islands are populated. The largest island is Guadalcanal and other major islands are Makira, San Cristobal, Vella Lavella, Choisuel, Rennel, New Georgia and Santa Cruz group. Solomon Islands are located in a seismically active region. The population of Solomon Islands is approximately 622,000 (CIA World Factboook, 2015). The capital of Solomon Islands is Honiara with a population of approximately 64,000. Honiara is located on the island of Guadalcanal.
The ETC is focussed on preparedness activities in Solomon Islands and nearby Pacific Island countries under its Pacific Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) project, lead by WFP.
The Kingdom of Tonga is comprised of 176 islands of which 40 are inhabited. Tonga is divided into three main islands Tongatapu in the south, Ha’apai in the centre, and Vava’u in the north. The capital Nuku’alofa is on the island of Tongatapu. The population of Tonga is approximately 103,000 people (Census, 2011). Approximately 70% of the country's population reside on the main island of Tongatapu.
Tonga faces disaster risk and threats from earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, tropical cyclones, and climate change related events such as droughts, sea level rise, flooding and erosion of low-lying areas. Tonga lies about 200 km west of the Tonga Trench fault zone, where the Pacific Plate subducts beneath the Australian Plate. Tonga is also located within the Ring of Fire that runs around the Pacific Ocean and where most seismic activities occurs.
The Tonga National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) was established under the Emergency Management Act 2007. The NEMO's primary function is to coordinate disaster risk reduction (DRR) and emergency management activities in the Kingdom of Tonga. A national cluster system was created under the coordination structure of the NEMO in 2015, and the national clusters in Tonga are lead by relevant line ministries. The national Telecommunications Cluster is lead by the Department of Communications under the Ministry of MEIDECC.
The contact details of the Tonga NEMO are:
The ETC is focussed on preparedness activities in Tonga and nearby Pacific Island countries under its Pacific Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) project, lead by WFP.
Marshall Islands (RMI)
The Marshall Islands is comprised of two parallel island chains of 29 atolls (made up of many islets), and 5 islands in the North Pacific Ocean (about halfway between Hawaii and Australia). The two island chains are known as Ratak (meaning “sunrise”) and Ralik (meaning “sunset”), respectively. The chains lie about 200 kilometres apart and extend almost 1300km northwest to southeast. Majuro atoll is the capital of the country, and government offices are located in the town of Delap-Uliga-Djarrit, named for three islands that were once separated and later joined by landfill. Marshall Islands’ nearest neighbours are Wake Island (north), Kiribati and Nauru (south), and the Federated States of Micronesia (west).
The estimated population of the Marshall Islands is approximately 73,000 people (CIA World Factbook 2017). The most populous atolls are Majuro and Kwajalein which together have almost 75% of the country’s total population. The rest of the population lives in traditional villages on the outer islands away from the two urban centres (Encyclopaedia Britannica 2017).
The Marshall Islands consist of approximately 180 sq. kilometres of land spread across just under 2,000,000 sq. kilometres of ocean. These characteristics make it vulnerable to natural disasters, and effects of climate change (US State Department 2017).
The Republic of Kiribati is made up of three main island groups: The Gilbert, Phoenix and Line Islands and one isolated raised limestone island, Banaba (Ocean Island). The groups of islands contain 33 scattered atoll islands, dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometers in the central Pacific Ocean. The three main island groups stretch over 800 kilometers from north to south and over 3,210 kilometers from east to west. The Kiribati 2010 census determined that the total population was 103,058. Almost 50% of the population lives in the capital of South Tarawa (in the Gilbert Islands).
The climate of Kiribati is hot and humid year around. This tropical climate is closely related to the temperature of the oceans surrounding the atolls and small islands. However, its seasonal rainfall is highly variable from year to year, mostly due to the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Kiribati has a vast ocean territory and the coutry is limited in its land area and terrestrial resources. The public sector dominates Kiribati’s economy. It provides two-thirds of all formal sector employment and accounts for almost 50% of gross domestic product. Kiribati is highly exposed to external economic shocks, particularly surges in food and fuel commodity prices, due to its limited revenue base and high dependency on imports.
Kiribati is categorised by the United Nations as both a ‘Small Island Developing State’ (SIDS) and a ‘Least Developed Country’ (LDC).
Tuvalu is located roughly halfway between Australia and Hawaii. Its nine islands cover 26 square kilometres yet its exclusive economic zone covers an enormous 900,000 square kilometres of ocean. Half of the country’s 12,000 population lives in the capital Funafuti, with the remainder spread thinly around the outer islands (UNISDR).
Contact details for the Tuvalu National Disaster Management Office - Tel: +688-20815 / +688-901691.
The World Food Programme (WFP), global lead of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC), is actively working on ETC preparedness activities in the Pacific Island region. In September 2015, WFP opened an office in Suva, Fiji, to support emergency preparedness in three sectors - Food Security, Logistics, and Emergency Telecommunications - across the Pacific Islands. On 30 November 2016, the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster for the Pacific was officially activated under the structure of the Pacific Humanitarian Team (PHT).
In 2016, WFP prioritised the following Pacific Island Countries for national engagement for ETC preparedness: Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. WFP is working to expand its engagement into North Pacific Island countries such as the Marshall Islands (RMI), Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Palau, Kiribati, and Tuvalu.
The Pacific ETC preparedness project is receiving funding support from the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). The Pacific ETC also acknowledges support received from ETC standby partner, MSB.
Telephone (Fiji): +679-331-6193
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