2 Apr 2015

Vanuatu presents case to international donors

3:45 pm on 2 April 2015

The Vanuatu minister of climate change has opened the first meeting of donor countries and international agencies to discuss the country's rehabilitation three weeks after Cyclone Pam hit.

Damage by Cyclone Pam in remote parts of Vanuatu.

Damage by Cyclone Pam in remote parts of Vanuatu. Photo: RNZ / Shaun O'Callaghan

James Bule told aid donors in Port Vila that the government is now assessing the damage to public infrastructure across all islands affected by the cyclone.

" When this is done then we will be sure of the extent of the damage to the buildings as to how much the government is looking at and we need to seek assistance from the foreign governments and other international agencies to support us with this endeavour."

James Bule hopes aid donors and international agencies will respond to the government's request for assistance with its rehabilitation plans which he says will prioritise schools and hospitals in the first instance.

Meanwhile the minister is calling for door to door distribution of relief aid supplies in the capital Port Vila after constant complaints from some communities.

James Bule says the government has been utilising existing provincial government systems to help distribute aid fairly in and around Port Vila but after continuing complaints, he has suggested a door to door approach.

" We have some problem with these structures, some people so far have been missed out and I have instructed the DG [Director General] this morning that we will ensure that everybody gets their share and perhaps it is better to make a door to door to ensure that everybody has their share."

In-depth disaster assessment

As the rapid relief response to Cyclone Pam continues to gain momentum, the national disaster management office is already undertaking the next phase of assessments to try and capture the overall damage in the country.

The director of the NDMO Shadrack Welegtabit says teams are already carrying out in-depth assessments in the field to try to build on data from the initial assessments.

" Okay the second in depth assessment is carried out by a cluster group and it is to capture all the damages that are caused by the cyclone. Initial assessment it is to see the need on the ground but the second, this assessment is to do the damage assessment on the ground."

Mr Welegtabit says a full report is expected by next week which he hopes will help to identify any gaps in the ongoing relief efforts.

Meanwhile Papua New Guinea government officials have been in Vanuatu to identify their needs.

Papua New Guinea Today reports that the assessment team consists of officials from the Prime Ministers Office, National Disaster Emergency Services, PNG Defence Force and Health Department.

PNG will provide engineers and experts to assist with the rehabilitation process.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs