A series of PHAST workshops are being facilitated by Red Cross to encourage improved hygiene behaviours, prevent diarrheal and other waterborne diseases and ultimately improve community management of water and sanitation facilities in cyclone-affected communities.
To mark the one-year anniversary of Cyclone Pam and International Women’s Day, Vanuatu Red Cross hosted a short film screening at Vanuatu Cultural Centre. The film, ‘Haos I Foldaon, Woman I Stanap’, aims to recognise and celebrate the role that women have played in helping their communities recover from Cyclone Pam.
Working in collaboration with Further Arts, a team of women from Vanuatu Red Cross together captured the stories of nine everyday women - drawn from a cross-section of areas and industries - to provide a diverse perspective of the recovery process and the roles that women have played.
On March 13th, 2015, approximately 66,000 people across Vanuatu, were left homeless when Cyclone Pam, a category 5 tropical storm, tore through the country.
When the cyclone struck, Luis Lomai was in her family home in Lamanian village in West Tanna, together with her husband, seven children and two grandchildren. They were soon forced to move elsewhere after the walls and roof of the house collapsed around them. Together the family dodged flying debris as they sought refuge in neighboring homes. They were forced to continue their flight three times after the winds tore apart each place where they sheltered.
Miraculously the family escaped the cyclone unscathed, but Luis and her family were left feeling defeated after seeing the damage the cyclone had caused to their home and garden.
A year ago on March 13th, Cyclone Pam tore through the Pacific Island Nation of Vanuatu. The Category Five storm left immense damage in its wake affecting more than 200,000 people across five countries. Although Vanuatu bore the brunt of the disaster, Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea were also severely impacted.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) launched a major international response, working closely with National Red Cross Societies across the affected region. Within the first six months of its relief and operation across the five countries, 44,000 people had been reached with humanitarian assistance.
Nelly Iaukelo, 33, and her husband Gaetan have been volunteering with Vanuatu Red Cross for over 3 years. “I like the Red Cross because they help people in the community and I’m interested in their work. I enjoy going out to communities I haven’t been before,” she said.
When Cyclone Pam came, Nelly’s home in the town of Lenakel (West Tanna) collapsed. “I saw my house had fallen down and I felt very sad. I cried with my children because we were very sorry for our house.”
One year ago Cyclone Pam tore through the South Pacific affecting 200,000 people and leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. Vanuatu bore the brunt of the disaster but Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea were also badly affected. In the last twelve months, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) working with National Red Cross Societies in the region, has reached more than 44,000 people across all five affected countries with direct humanitarian assistance.
Vanuatu Red Cross is sending locally sourced and life-saving relief supplies to islands across Vanuatu to help communities best prepare for the cyclone season.
Relief goods such as containers to collect clean water, pots and pans for cooking and tarpaulins for shelter are being positioned in key communities across all six provinces of the country. “The relief supplies will enable the most vulnerable people to get the support they need as quickly as possible when disaster strikes,” said Vanuatu Red Cross CEO, Jacqueline De Gaillande.
It's been 7 months since Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu with devastating force. This infographic helps to explain the progress that Red Cross has made in their recovery efforts since this time and how they're helping the country's most vulnerable. Click here to view a downloadable PDF version of the infographic.
Red Cross was the first organisation to carry out official relief operations, distributing essential supplies to affected people in the first month following Cyclone Pam. Six months on, we've provided assistance to an estimated 39,915 people affected by TC Pam in Vanuatu.
The first few months following the cyclone focused on relief – making sure that people could survive in the aftermath of the disaster. Now, the focus has moved to longer term recovery, to reconstruction and to being better prepared for future disasters. Following the relief activities, the recovery priorities for Red Cross in Vanuatu are to provide the means for cyclone-affected households to rebuild their damaged houses, have safe places for refuge and improve access to safe water, especially considering the increased likelihood of extended drought caused by El Nino.
Vanuatu Red Cross Society with the support of Australian Red Cross hosted an award ceremony this evening to recognize individuals who made an outstanding contribution towards Vanuatu Red Cross Society’s Cyclone Pam emergency response. Those honoured included members of their board and staff as well as humanitarians from a range of organisations both nationally and internationally