11 Apr 2018

Chief from Ambae urges Vanuatu govt to find his people new land

2:50 pm on 11 April 2018

A chief from North Ambae, Chief Benuel Garae, says if the Vanuatu government does not act in acquiring land for the people of Ambae to resettle it is possible that the people will disappear.

Thousands of islanders were moved when a volcano erupted on Ambae, Vanuatu.

Children on Ambae Photo: RNZ / Koroi Hawkins

Chief Garae made the statement today and confirmed that traditional houses have fallen due to heavy ash, water sources are contaminated and the air is no longer safe to breathe.

Chief Garae said food gardens were covered with ash from the Lopenpen volcano.

The chief also confirmed that all coconut trees had been destroyed.

Chief Garae said he was speaking out because everything on the island had changed and ash continues to fall.

He said concerns had been raised with the Provincial government, the national government and other NGO's as the island is no longer safe.

It is understood that assessments are ongoing and relief efforts are awaiting for a decision to be made soon on the disaster.

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