16 Dec 2005

Private relief operation swings into gear in Vanuatu for Ambae displaced

2:12 pm on 16 December 2005

Private relief committees in Vanuatu hope to send a second shipment of aid this week to people on Ambae, who've been forced from their homes after the island's volcano started spewing ash and steam high into the sky.

Thousands of litres of fresh water have already been handed out to hundreds of people in relocation centres around the coastal zone of Ambae.

Local officials have been co-ordinating the distribution of bags of rice, biscuits, noodles and sugar.

The chairman of the Port Vila Manaro Disaster Committee, Jean Sese, says this is important to ensure the aid gets to the right people.

"We have a person in place, we have a person on site at provincial headquarter, who works with the provincial authorities to make sure that all centres are provided with food relief based on the number of people at those centres."

Mr Sese says more fresh water is certain to be needed in Ambae.