Empowering Women’s Economic Development in Solomon Islands
Providing secure facilities for women to sell their market produce helps to empower women, enabling them to engage in the formal economy and improve the livelihoods and health of their families.
The impacts of climate change, including severe cyclones, flooding and storm surge, are threatening the integrity of these facilities across the Pacific Islands. Many were lost in recent Cyclones Winston and Pam.
Australia is taking a proactive, evidence-based approach to managing the risks posed by climate change in construction industries in the Pacific. Australian support for the redevelopment of the Gizo Market ($3.5 million, 2016-2019) has ensured it is designed to withstand wind speeds of a Category 5 cyclone and resist sea level rises, with the market site raised above 2055 sea level rise projections.
Working closely with the women producers, the architects were provided specifications to meet women's needs and disability access, as well as current climate projections developed under Australia's Pacific climate science and information services. The design includes a sea wall to protect the market and reinforced beams to withstand high wind speeds.
Taking a holistic approach, the design also includes a sustainable water supply and sanitation facilities, ramps for disability access and an affordable, secure clean energy supply.
Even in the face of a disaster, Gizo Market is equipped to enable women producers to get back on their feet quickly and reengage in their livelihoods.
Gizo Market is a good practice example of the way design and construction of facilities in the Pacific can transform resilience in the face of increasing climate change threats and disasters.
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