Komunidad Wraps Up Successful Resilient-Siargao Project

Siargao local governments and citizens have gained more confidence as they chart their province’s continuing journey toward becoming a climate-resilient community.

Komunidad marked the completion of its 15-month Resilient-Siargao Project on April 30, a program that aims to help the coastal communities recover from the ravages of Super Typhoon Odette in December 2021.

Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte Mayor Alfredo Coro Jr. said that the project has lent them more confidence and efficiency in their disaster risk reduction and management strategies. “Before Komunidad, we had doubts in our ability to respond. The weather changes fast and we needed proper and timely data. We only have very short windows in terms of decision-making and having the right decisions that will support potentially zero loss of lives,” he said.

Coro said that they are now able to lower the risks by adjusting in their disaster readiness. “Many of our communities are benefitting directly from the system because it provides us with the immediate data that we need,” he continued.

The town mayor also noted that the training from Komunidad and data they glean from the platform proved to be critical as it helped them map out a more efficient use of land and geography of their town. “You would know where the people need to be, to be safe over [a period of] not just a few years, but really decades,” he added.

In the past 15 months, Komunidad has helped Surigao del Norte municipal governments improve their disaster risk reduction and management strategies through science-based knowledge and tools. Komunidad started this by conducting a Weather/Climate and Tropical Cyclone and Enterprise Web App Training and Development for the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices (DRRMO) of nine municipalities of Del Carmen, San Benito, Burgos, Dapa Socorro, San Isidro, Pilar, Sta. Monica, and General Luna.

Komunidad also set up automated reports and SMS alerts for the DRRMOs so they can integrate these in their pre-disaster risk assessments.

Empowered municipal DRRMOs

In these training sessions, Pilar, Surigao del Norte Municipal DRRM officer Genevie Sumaylo learned how to better protect and safeguard the people in their town. “The accurate information on the typhoon’s trajectory enables the local government unit to allocate resources efficiently to plan targeted interventions,” she said.

With data accessible at their fingertips, “the citizens are able to check for real-time data and weather updates that could help them prepare and take proactive measures in safeguard themselves and their properties,” Sumaylo added.  

Feedback from the endline assessment Komunidad conducted showed that 97% of DRRMO employees acknowledged that access to localized climate information through the platform helped them identify climate risks more effectively. A resounding 97% of the users also said they noticed a notable improvement in their decision-making processes by integrating Komunidad data into their existing strategies.

The same assessment also showed a 15-point increase, against the baseline assessment, in DRRMO staff satisfaction with current solutions.

By the end of the project, there is a 72% integration of Komunidad into their officers’ sources for weather and environmental information, indicating widespread adoption among stakeholders.

Over 97% of DRRMO employees believe that Komunidad has enhanced their ability to anticipate climate events, enabling them to make informed decisions to protect communities and improve response capabilities effectively.

While DRRMO interviewees said they continued with their old methods to access weather and environmental information, Komunidad came in addition to a range of pre-existing solutions.

For almost all respondents, Komunidad provides access to accurate and localized information. One respondent shared that while PAGASA gives region-wide weather information, Komunidad provides “realistic insights about specific areas,” that allow them to confirm alerts on their towns.

The project also contributed to three of the identified Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations for Siargao. These are 13.1 Climate Action, 11.5 Sustainable Cities and Communities, and 17.17 Partnerships for Goals.

Saving lives, a ray of hope for the future

Local fisher Eugen Patentes from Barangay Alegria said that they used to rely on nature as their guide when they head out to the seas to fish, but they could not determine when a storm would arrive. “We would just wait without being able to fish,” he said.

But Komunidad has since armed them with more accurate data. “We can now monitor the strength of the wind and the height of the waves at sea, so we continue to work without any hindrance,” he added.

Disaster Risk Reduction is integral in the class of Sapao National High School and Sergio Sumando Jr. said the training Komunidad gave helped make their classes more interactive. “The children became more active, especially when there’s an alert, they immediately check the Komunidad app to see if the forecasts are true, ” he said.

As Del Carmen Mayor Coro has put it: “Without systems like this to support us, it’s going to be a shot in the dark.”

All these have been made possible through Komunidad’s partnership with the GSMA Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and the Swedish International Cooperation Agency.

explore the power of komunidad

Discover how data-driven solutions can transform your climate resilience and sustainability efforts.