Cleanup begins in Vanuatu, ADRA’s response continues
PORT VILA, VANUATU— The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is playing a key role in securing the health and sanitation in 10 of the 20 evacuation centers in Port Vila. ADRA has made plumbed water available at nine of the 10 evacuation centers with the last evacuation center’s tank being refilled by the fire service.
The number of latrines in the evacuation centers is still inadequate, with as many as 300 people using one toilet. ADRA is continuing to provide hygiene information sessions in 10 evacuation centers. Field staff has already distributed hygiene supplies to families in the centers, including soap and other prepositioned materials.
“Ensuring good hygiene is critical following a disaster like this,” said Mark le Roux, ADRA Vanuatu Country Director. “Disease can spread quickly and with health services already stretched the situation can turn deadly.”
ADRA’s plan of action includes installing additional latrines, building temporary bathing facilities, and continuing hygiene messaging daily.
ADRA has also deployed a team of volunteers to help with cleanup efforts in the urban areas of Port Vila. Although the power outage continues, the weather has remained clear, allowing residents to start cleaning up and gathering what is left of their homes.
Logistical issues in response to the Cyclone Pam’s devastation are hampering the ability to respond on other islands.
“Communication between the islands is still down,” reported le Roux. “We still don’t have a good picture of the cyclone’s impact on many of the islands.”
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. For more information, visit ADRA.org.