VANUATU: Regenvanu expects 50% of people struck by Pam to be homeless

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MIL OSI Analysis – Source: Pacific Media Centre – VANUATU: Regenvanu expects 50% of people struck by Pam to be homeless

A destroyed home: Aid workers say while some islands have been devastated by Cyclone Pam, others have been left relatively unscathed. Image: CBC

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Item: 9167

Jonas Cullwick
PORT VILA (Vanuatu Daily Post/Pacific Media Watch): Vanuatu Minister of Lands Ralph Regenvanu says more than 50 percent of those hit by super Cyclone Pam at the weekend are now homeless.

He says there is a communication problem as a result of the destructive winds of Cyclone Pam, but people are using provincial assessment teams to gauge the impact on the people and how many people have been affected.

“The policy of the National Disaster Committee now is to collect donations, purchase food items and to distribute tarpaulin and water as the priority,” Regenvanu told the Vanuatu Daily Post, which resumed news publishing today.

“Food will be sent out later because we want people to use up all the food that they still have from the gardens or the stores before we start to provide them with food assistance.”

Regenvanu, who is also MP for Port Vila, assured the people that the full area of the Vanuatu capital had 100 percent capacity of water now being provided by Unelco.

His said this to allay fears by some people that the company providing water for the capital was fast running out of water.

He added that the water was 100 percent drinkable.

Power being restored
He said power was coming on in stages throughout the capital and “Unelco is working very hard with the assistance of teams from New Caledonia to speed up restoration of power to the whole city and its people”.

The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) reported that 29 evacuation centers had been set where people took shelter from the cyclone in Port Vila with the largest center holding up to 2000 people.

But Regenvanu said many of these people had now gone home.

He appealed to those affected by the cyclone to go and fill in assessment forms that will show authorities the level of their need.

Those in Port Vila should go to the NDMO at Nambatu and those outside of the municipal area should go to Shefa Province also in Port Vila.

Regenvanu assured the people that “the fgovernment is working very hard to help people.”

Jonas Cullwick, a former general manager of the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation (VBTC), is now a senior journalist with the Daily Post.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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