16 Oct 2017

Logistical challenges in returning thousands of people to Ambae

From , 4:04 pm on 16 October 2017

The head of Unicef in Vanuatu says there will be serious logistical challenges in planning the return to Ambae.

The island's 11,000 people were evacuated last month when the island's volcano started erupting, covering much of the island in ash and killing crops.

The evacuees are currently in evacuation centres on the nearby islands of Santo, Maewo and Pentecost.

The government last week extended the state of emergency for another fortnight, but with the volcano settling down, a repatriation to Ambae could occur within a month.

Unicef's Andrew Parker told Jamie Tahana the government is working tirelessly to plan for what will be another major challenge.

Water, food and shelter are the main concerns at the refugee centres and not necessarily in that order.

Photo: RNZI / Koroi Hawkins