Pacific drought hits Tanna Island, Vanuatu

Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu’s ‘Tanna Island’ earlier this year, and it’s now in a state of serious drought and famine. Children are dying from dehydration and starvation because seeds and seedlings planted after the cyclone haven’t grown due to the devastating ‘El Nino’ drought conditions now afflicting the Pacific region. Many water sources are drying up or are contaminated by volcanic ash. Locals are now desperate and current aid assistance is not enough.  Most of the people of Vanuatu live from their gardens and rivers. Gardens were re-planted after the cyclone in March 2015, but little was produced and no new planting has succeeded due to the relentless drought.

Global Development Group project J738NR ’LFTN Emergency Relief Project’ is sending immediate help to Tanna from Port Vila.

Assessing the situation, Steve Blake report, “When the rain comes again and planting gardens can resume, it will still take weeks for people to become self-sufficient again. Most of the international aid groups completed their cyclone relief programs months ago and are not involved in helping now. So, I’m asking again on behalf of the people in need right now in Vanuatu, if you can give for them in this darkest time.”

“At Imafen, in the north-east, five children have died in these past few weeks from the effects of the drought. People there are struggling to survive. The chiefs of this village said they are not coping and don’t know what to do.” John Tuprick said.

“Right now here in Australia we are getting ready to send our 23rd shipping container to Vanuatu since Cyclone Pam. This one will be filled mostly with food!

From our base in Port Vila, we are helping over 800 families in the north and east of Tanna Island to survive. This weekend our staff in Vila will send another load of food and water purifiers to these families. Each shipment of these basic supplies we’re sending regularly from Port Vila to Tanna costs $20,000.” Steve said.

The community is in desperate need of water and nutritious food.

Your donation can help buy the following:

  • $ 15 = 1 box water (12 x 1.5 litre bottles)
  • $ 30 = 1 box noodles (60 packets)
  • $ 40 = 1 box canned fish (24 large tins)
  • $ 70 = 1 water filter for a family (these are due in Vanuatu in 7-10 days)
  • $350 = 1 water purification unit for a community

*These costs are indicative only and representative of current project activities

If you would like to donate to project J738NR, please click on the following link:

Donate to J738NR

Since Cyclone Pam hit last March, project J738NR has sent 22 shipping containers from Sydney to Vila. It has focused on providing permanent shelters for families, emergency food and nutrition supplements, bedding, household and hygiene kits, clothing, and water filters to communities. It has also trained local teams to build the permanent shelters and employed locals for the emergency work.

This project is a special “relief initiative” of existing Global Development Group project J738N, designed to meet the needs created by the disaster.

Donations over $2 are tax deductible. Excess funds may be applied to other approved activities.