Vanuatu communities taught to rebuild stronger
Cyclone affected communities in Vanuatu are being taught to cyclone proof their homes as the rebuild in the country continues almost seven months after Pam.
Care International has been distributing rebuild kits to villagers on Tanna one of the worst hit islands in Tafea province.
Along with tools including hammers and saws, Spanish architect Guiomar Grande is in Tanna teaching people to build back stronger.
She told Koroi Hawkins about the importance of helping communities.
GUIOMAR GRANDE: This island is quite complicated with logistics. So that means that we strive to cover the toolkit distribution that means one to two households in west and east Tanna and that was the distribution that now is going to finish. Also combined with an awareness workshop called Build Back Safer. To explain to the community some important concepts like location, like cross-bracing, and how to do good connections and to do good connections between the different structural elements and to reinforce this kind of good constructions that they used to build as a good way of building.
KOROI HAWKINS: What's in the toolkits?
GG: In the toolkit we have hammers, hand saws, tin snips, pliers, hoes and shovel.
KH: Right. And you're giving this to families all around the island are you?
GG: We are covering because Tanna is divided in various NGOs, so CARE International has been working in east Tanna and now we are covering west Tanna, part of west Tanna.
KH: And the Build Back Safer workshops, what's the idea behind that?
GG: The idea is to enforce the local, traditional way of building here that is the Nimaleten. Which is the local way of many years and years of building. It is the perfect shelter for the hazards that happen in this country like cyclones, earthquakes. It's a very, very strong construction.
KH: So it is basically a roof all the way to the ground, is it?
GG: Yes. It's actually a triangle and it's stacked on the ground. We have been working Lume has been working on the foundation improvements, so to put like a cross inside the ground, so it's not only a piece of wood it is like a cross.
KH: So that gives it more purchase in the ground in terms of if the wind blows on it.
KH: And what is your hope? You think people if they build back stronger they will be more resilient to future cyclones?
GG: Yeah. We are sure. We have been working for this and we are sure we will make a difference. There is still a lot of work to do but I think these concepts are quite understandable and yeah, I think it will make a change.
To embed this content on your own webpage, cut and paste the following: