Supporting Road Network Vulnerability Assessments in Pacific Island Countries

Pacific Island Countries (PICs) face a high risk of geophysical and climate-related events such as earthquakes and tropical cyclones. Such hazards can severely damage road networks, thereby disrupting people’s access to other parts of their island and to basic services, and disrupting livelihoods.

PICs face common obstacles to building resilient critical infrastructure. For example, important buildings like hospitals and schools are primarily located within the coastal zone. Road networks are also often not complex and have very few redundant paths, and therefore damage to a single road can hamper the entire road circulation of an island state. Moreover, the vulnerability of transport networks in PICs is expected to increase due to the impacts of climate change.

The ACP-EU NDRR Program financed the development of an objective, transparent and repeatable approach to assess the vulnerability of road networks in PICs, and to identify and prioritise the possible options for action. A Vulnerability Assessment was conducted in Samoa, which supported the development of the Climate Resilient Road Strategy that was approved by Samoa’s Cabinet Development Committee.

This Vulnerability Assessment can now be repeated and conducted in other PICs, and ultimately contribute to increasing investments in the resilience of road networks in the short, medium and long term. This would not only benefit the transport sector, but all residents of PICs who are dependent on roads for their own mobility and for the transportation of goods vital to their lives. 

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