Updated 13 March 2016
Tropical Cyclone Pam caused widespread destruction across the eastern and south-eastern islands of the country on 13 March, 2015. The eye of the Category 5 cyclone passed close to Efate Island, affecting about 188,000 people across 22 islands. An estimated 15,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, about 96 per cent of food stocks decimated, and the water supply of 110,000 people disrupted, destroyed or contaminated.
Oxfam has been coordinating the Vanuatu Humanitarian Team (VHT) since its inception in 2011, supporting humanitarian coordination for both disaster preparedness and response.
In the 12 months since the cyclone, Oxfam has been working together with more than 50 organisations under the lead of the Vanuatu Government to ensure relief efforts are coordinated and aid is getting to those who need it most. So far, these efforts have reached almost 25,000 people in more than 60 communities on four islands: Efate, Emae, Epi and Ambrym.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
- 265,800 litres of clean water was water trucked to 3,474 people on Efate Island
- 13,809 people now have access to clean water through water system rehabilitation
- 20,928 people in Efate, Epi and Ambrym received hygiene kits
- About 2,500 people in 10 communities and four schools were provided with large-scale gravity-fed water supply system reconstruction
- Infrastructure such as new toilets, hand washing stations and rainwater catchments were installed for 2,077 students in 28 schools and kindergartens
- 13,292 people attended hygiene awareness sessions and received information and communication materials about sanitation; a further 10,453 people learnt about good hygiene practices through watching a theatrical performance by Oxfam’s partner, Wan SmolBag
Emergency Food Security and Vulnerable Livelihoods
- At least 5,218 people in Efate and Epi received seeds
- 5,955 people received kits containing tools and gardening supplies
- At least 4,579 individuals received vouchers that can be exchanged for tools, equipment and other goods
- 1,753 people have taken part in cash-for-work programmes
- 769 people received training in income generating activities
From Response to Recovery
Oxfam’s humanitarian work in Vanuatu has now moved from the response phase to the recovery phase. Our programmes for the next period will reflect this shift in focus, as well as the predicted impacts of El Niño on weather patterns. We will also expand the geographic scope of our work to include Buninga, Tongariki, Tongoa, North Epi, additional vulnerable communities in Efate, and potentially other islands in the region.
Report: Oxfam in Vanuatu: Cyclone Pam Response released on 13 March 2016