Erromango in desperate need of food
A resident on the remote Vanuatu island of Erromango says the community is in desperate need of food and drinking water as it has not yet received any Government aid.
A resident on the cyclone struck Vanuatu island of Erromango says the community is in desperate need of food and drinking water as it has not yet received any Government aid.
Helen Naupa of Williams Bay says a Government assessment team has been to the island since Cyclone Pam hit ten days ago but has not yet sent relief supplies.
Ms Naupa told Koroi Hawkins the lack of Government help is disgraceful.
HELEN NAUPA: After the two weeks period now we have had people from NDMO come to Williams Bay and we were actually thinking and hoping that the help would have come last week. I think it's coming towards two weeks now when they came and made the assessment and we have not heard anything. We are hearing that the help has been contributed to the islands in the north and probably to some of the islands might be but for Erromango we have not received anything and that is a disgrace for us. It's a big disgrace, yes.
KOROI HAWKINS: How serious is the situation now with food and water?
HN: Very difficult. It's a very, very great need. For water after the cyclones, such as Pam, the water might be dirty and we think it's clean and we need purification and assessments of our waters to find out whether it is safe for our children and for especially mothers and for the people to drink. For food we are actually facing very difficult times. The gardens have been totally damaged, completely damaged. We are actually getting the last food from our gardens at the moment. People here don't work for money. They are dependent on root crops only and that has been destroyed. People here are hungry. They need food. We need food from the Government of Vanuatu and sadly we are not receiving anything yet.
KH: The Government of Vanuatu has said that schools will start again on the 30th I think is the date they are saying, what do you think about this?
HN: Well, the Government hasn't made any assessment at all, especially for schools and health clinics. I heard that yesterday there was a team that arrived on Erromango. They should have done that last week before the Government came out and say that the children should go back to school. The assessment should have been done earlier before they can give out the instruction to say that they should go back to school. How are the children going to go and sit in an open space? The school has been damaged and they can't go and be sitting there if it's raining. They can't be sitting outside and pretending everything is okay. It's not okay. We need help, urgently. I appeal to all the international agencies throughout the world. People are homeless. A lot of people are homeless at the moment. We wouldn't need only tarpaulins and canvas but for a longer period of time we would also need building materials and for food we would expect to have international assistance for a period of one year. It will take probably a period of one year, if I may say, that we'll be able to put food back into our gardens.
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