HONOLULU (KHON2) — Big Island residents attended a workshop on Saturday, July 27 about recovering from the Kilauea eruption.
The county hosted the Community SpeakOut event at Keaʻau High School cafeteria from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The event, part of the county’s Talk Action, Take Action initiative, is to share information with and gather input from the community regarding priority Kīlauea recovery objectives for Puna and the rest of the Island.
The day-long event included the latest information on recovery.
There were workshops and other opportunities for learning.
The free workshop also had educational activities for children as well as food and refreshments.
“We designed the event to provide an opportunity where you and your family can share your voice and shape what your future Puna looks like,” said Bob Agres, Manager for Disaster Recovery Community Engagement & Collaboration. “We hope the exchange of information will provide insight and will lead to many ways for the community to engage in the recovery process.”
The event discussed the critical challenges and opportunities with regard to Kīlauea eruption recovery, raised awareness and understanding of the disaster recovery process that includes County, State and Federal efforts, and share information about collaborative community-based recovery actions.
The workshops are:
The ‘Ohana Self-Sufficiency Workshop from 10:30 am -12 pm will cover issues and opportunities relating to: financial capability, housing, education, and employment. Panelists from the workshop include leaders who will speak about available resources and programs to help families.
The Economic Recovery Workshop from 1 – 2:30 pm will cover issues and opportunities relating to: economic impact baseline and implications, community-based tourism and regional identity, agriculture and food systems, and energy and transportation. Panelists from the workshop include specialists like Paul Brewbaker, former Chief Economist of the Bank of Hawaiʻi, and Stephen Jordan, CEO of the Institute for Sustainable Development
The SpeakOut event’s results will provide additional information to the Puna Community Development Plan (CDP) Action Committee to make informed recommendations regarding priority recovery objectives.
The committee meets on August 6, 2019 to consider various recovery goals relating to village town centers, infrastructure, natural and cultural resource management, and health and wellbeing.
To qualify for federal government disaster recovery funds, this level of public input is required.
“One big goal of the SpeakOut is to catalyze collaborative partnerships-a Community-Based Recovery Network-and to increase involvement by residents in the recovery planning and implementation process,” said Recovery Manager, Diane Ley.
The SpeakOut event follows the recently announced County surveys to collect community input that will shape both near- and long-term recovery efforts on Hawaii Island.
The surveys will be available at the event and are on the Kīlauea Recovery website https://recovery.hawaiicounty.gov/connect/impact-status-survey-suite/
For more information on the Community SpeakOut, go to the County’s website: https://recovery.hawaiicounty.gov/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/88/138.