Decline in relief support in Vanuatu
The Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office says it is starting to feel the strain of operating on its own steam as the international emergency response to Cyclone Pam continues to scale down.
The Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office says it is beginning to feel the strain of having to run under its own steam as the international help in response to Cyclone Pam continues to scale back.
The NDMO Operations Manager Peter Korisa travelled to Tanna to assess the progress of the second phase of relief distribution which is going out into the communities.
Speaking with Koroi Hawkins from Vanuatu's Tafea province, he says his people will continue doing the best they can with the available resources.
PETER KORISA: What I could see like people sort of started to be, people start to recover its the recovery phase. And as well as people still focusing on recovery and food distribution is still going on.
KOROI HAWKINS: And what are you doing in Tanna? What is the purpose of your trip to Tanna?
PK: My mission here is just to visit the boys from the operation centre here in Tafea Province and then just see around and see how the operation is going on and how is the people's reaction at the moment and the situation here in Tanna. Unfortunately I cannot be in other islands, I am only here in Tanna so I am going back soon. And that is why I am just following the operation people here and just going around and looking at the communities.
KH: And what are people saying to you? What are people saying at this stage of the recovery?
PK: Yesterday I went to three communities, people really sympathise and I think because I did not receive any positive, I mean negative impact from people, negative or criticism from people. In fact people actually they are receiving a bit of relief support in terms of portion of rice that the government has given with the help of the other international organisations. Especially World Food Programme and several NGO's working here on this island. Of course some times people will not come directly or indirectly but you might see their reactions. So the way I see is people here is, they are trying hard to cope with the situation.
KH: And this is the second phase of distribution that you are following around is that correct?
PK: Yes exactly this is the second phase of the distribution?
KH: I know that apart from food and water one of the big concerns was shelter. From what you are seeing are people getting enough shelter or is their a need for more tarpaulins, tents and building materials?
PK: It's very difficult to see how people will recover and how they will resist another, the other next disaster. Or things like cyclone. That is why I am saying that shelter here is quite complicated because people use the, they really try their best to use the local materials as possible to rebuild back but again it is quite vulnerable. In fact I could see in a lot of communities it will need sometime to build back better as we can say. Of course the tarpaulins or temporary shelter is still needed in a few areas. But not that, in a big demand compared to some few weeks ago. In the meantime people are trying to build a very basic thatch roof houses which is using the local material. And that will be there for sometimes. And it is just the usual type of building here that you will see in most of the rural communities. But again like I said it is very complex and it is vulnerable for future shocks or future disasters.
KH: The International support that was evident immediately after the cyclone how is that changed in the time since then to now?
PK: The momentum of the emergency after the, just after the aftermath of the cyclone was really tremendous and you know in a big, what we can say it was really like a big force a lot of people coming in. After a few weeks, what I could see now like most international intervention has been diminished. Like people have been leaving the country so it is sort of scaling down the response. In fact we still have a few remaining even our regional support is still, but they focus more on reconstruction. So in terms of life saving its more to me like it is diminishing like it is really scaling down at the moment.
KH: And is that a problem for you? Are your local resources able to cope with the ongoing relief effort?
PK: I think it is quite a challenge for us, at the moment it is a challenge. But we, we not really, we are doing our best. We do our best how to handle the situation and also I don't have an answer whether to say that we cannot do, we are not capable or we cannot cope with this the situation. Of course I could put it as a challenge, it is a challenge for us with our local capacity that we have at the moment. We are trying our best trying to use what we have at the moment. It is overwhelming for us but again we do our best and we try to handle the situation.
To embed this content on your own webpage, cut and paste the following: