Submitted by leannem on Tue, 09/24/2019 - 14:17
September 24, 2019 by leannem
Climate Change Resilience

23 September 2019, Pago Pago, American Samoa – Building a path to ‘precovery’ in American Samoa. 
This is the theme of the Pacific Risk Management `Ohana meeting, a two-day meeting which convenes this week in American Samoa. 

To be held at the American Samoa Community College, the meeting will bring together 150 people from across American Samoa and the Pacific, as well as mainland US to address issues on risk management, and how American Samoa can better respond to disasters, building upon experiences and lessons learned from previous disasters.  

The American Samoa earthquake and tsunami of 2009 will be highlighted throughout the two days of the meeting, in commemoration of the tenth anniversary since the disaster struck, claiming 34 lives and damaging multiple properties in American Samoa. 

Representatives from villages who were most affected during the tsunamis will share their experiences, some sad and some successes, as a way of looking back to see how far the country has come, and how it has rebuilt itself. 

The sessions will also look at the impacts of Tropical Storm Gita as well as seek feedback and input into the American Samoa Resilience Plan guided by the National Disaster Recovery Framework.

This is the third time American Samoa has hosted the PRiMO meeting, with the last time being 2013. 

Ms. H. Gingerlei Porter, Director of the Pacific International Training Desk with the University of Hawaii, said the main purpose of bringing the meeting back to American Samoa this year is to promote re-engagement with countries and to take it back to grassroots level.

“PRiMO started as a group of organisations with a specific focus on priorities that were identified by the local communities. We want to readjust back to that focus and to take it back to the community level,” Ms. Porter said. 

A traditional ‘ava ceremony will be held in Utulei to officially open the meeting. The two days of deliberations will conclude with a field visit to Aunu’u island, which is one of the most affected by climate change and rising sea levels in American Samoa.

A tsunami drill will also be conducted upon conclusion of the meeting, and a memorial service to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the tsunami will close off the week.- #ASPRiMO19 

The Pacific Risk Management `Ohana (PRiMO) Conference is being held from 24 – 26 September 2019 at the American Samoa Community College in Pago Pago, American Samoa. For more information on PRiMO please visit