Cyclone Harold vs Covid-19
Vanuatu has been dealt two emergencies at once. In the midst of Covid-19, the northern islands have been smashed by category 5 Cyclone Harold. Let's come together and support our Pacific neighbours.
Tropical Cyclone Harold was a Category 5 storm (for context, there is no Category 6) that swept through the Pacific in April 2020. Hitting Vanuatu at its most powerful, this slow-moving storm wrought widespread destruction across the country's northern islands.
As Harold moved on, it's been revealed that communities in the islands of Pentecost, Ambrum and Samna Province suffered extensive damage and are left in extremely vulnerable conditions.
Gardens and farms that provide a majority of the local food supply have been destroyed. Combined with power and communication outages and damage to stores, some areas have food supplies for as little as 7 days.
Islands are reporting up to 90% destruction of infrastructure, including homes, medical centres and community buildings. Compromised water supplies have seen authorities recommending all water be boiled before drinking.
The New Reality
Vanuatu has been in lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, further complicating relief efforts. Border closures and restrictions on the movement of people has seen relief organisations withdrawing or heavily reducing their presence on the islands.
Local authorities are now tasked with providing emergency relief while attempting to prevent a deadly viral outbreak.
What can we do?
Co-Ground has worked in partnership with remote Ni-Vanuatu communities for over 5 years. In 2015, we saw the power of local community action after Tropical Cyclone Pam and the ongoing social outcomes that follow as a result of working together.
We know this is an opportunity for empowerment. Let's continue to back local community strength and resilience.
Stage 1: Relief
Stage 1 involves supporting local relief efforts through trusted channels and tackling immediate needs through providing access to:
- Medical Treatment and
- Medical Supplies
Stage 2: Recovery
After immediate needs are met, the recovery stage involves supporting communities to rebuild. Projects are determined at a local level based on community priorities but are likely to involve the repair and upgrade of an Aid Post or school building.
Any contribution has a huge impact on the immediate and long term needs of devastated communities. All funds that are donated to the campaign are used directly for Vanuatu community projects. Co-Ground generates operating costs through social enterprise in Australia, so feel comfortable knowing your donations will have a direct effect!
Hit that donate button now!
Before and after photos: - Cyclone Harold 2020, Melsisi Village, Pentecost, Vanuatu
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Year started: 2015
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