4 Jun 2016

New vehicles boost Vanuatu's disaster preparedness

11:55 am on 4 June 2016

Disaster authorities in Vanuatu have received a boost to their disaster preparedness in the form of three emergency boats a large flatbed truck and two four wheel drive vehicles.

The new assets come under the EU's Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project implemented by the Pacific Community,

SPC's Director for Melanesia said the vehicles cost $US116,735 and would be deployed to different parts of the country where they would be used to support disaster risk management and response activities.

Mia Rimon said whilst Vanuatu is the current focus other countries in the region will also benefit from the $US21.6 million project.

"Every country in the Pacific needs the capability to respond when things go wrong. When there is natural disaster when there is man made disasters."

"And this is a direct request from the government to build their preparedness to follow their own disaster risk management practices and policies and planning. So we are very happy to suport this request," she said.

Distribution of the assets will see the flat-bed truck remain in Port Vila co-owned by the Vanuatu Police Mobile Force and the National Disaster Management Office, the three boats will go to the remote Penama, Malampa and Torba Provinces to support Disaster Risk Management efforts there and the two four wheel drives vehicles will be sent to Sanma and Tafea Provinces.

People helping out on Makira Island

People transfer water bags to the beach on Makira Island after Cyclone Pam in 2015 disrupted water supplies to many parts of Vanuatu. Photo: NZ / Koroi Hawkins