30 Mar 2015

Despite good progress, Tuvalu still struggling after Pam

2:47 pm on 30 March 2015

Tuvalu's Prime Minister says the situation in his country remains dire and unstable two weeks after cyclone Pam, but he is happy with progress that has been made.

Enele Sopoaga says enough supplies have been distributed to every affected island, although concerns remain about the state of water and hygiene.

Hundreds of people were displaced when the low lying atolls experienced widespread flooding, but Mr Sopoaga says most of them have been able to return home and those who haven't, should be able to by the end of this week.

He says he is thankful for the work of his authorities, and the international community, in responding to the cyclone.

"Taskforces have been dispatched to the most affected islands to help the community clear debris, the stones, the huge rocks and rubbish and also helping them to rebuild. The situation was very bad and I'm happy now that to some level of degree we have been able to help some people out."

Enele Sopoaga says there remain concerns about freshwater supplies and sanitation in affected areas, and these are being closely monitored.

Schools reopen

Most schools have re-opened two weeks after cyclone Pam hit.

A government spokesperson there is only one school that they haven't confirmed is open, as it closed a few weeks ago due to an outbreak of influenza.

The school is on the island of Nukulaelae which is over a hundred kilometres to the south-east of Funafuti and has nearly 400 residents.

The government says the number of flu cases is slowly dropping and it expects the school will open this week.

  Tuvalu - tidal surges 16x10

Hundreds of people were displaced after the storm surge from Cyclone Pam Photo: Supplied