Recent rainfall caused floods and landslides severely affecting North Ambrym on 15 April 2009. Ten villages between Linbul and Ranvetlam, with an estimated population of 950 (239 households), were affected.
Damage to Infrastructure
The floods totally damaged a piped water supply facility that covers 5 villages. The people in these communities have no alternative water sources except a few concrete wells. Landslide also damaged 45% of the gardens in affected villages. There are no reports of major damages to roads and houses. However, since existing dirt roads are not well developed, distribution of relief may be affected.
Damages to water supply systems in 5 villages and local gardens pose health risks to affected families because of limited safe water and food supply. Only a few houses have concrete wells which contain rain water that may last for only a week unless the area would receive sufficient rainfall.
Authorities are regularly monitoring affected areas for water borne diseases and other health risks.
As of 22 April 2009, there have been no reported casualties.
The health center in Nenble is not accessible by vehicles but only by boat or by foot. The water system of Fire Mountain Clinic in Ranon area is also damaged and requires urgent repair.
The government has organized assessment teams and have received initial results.
Early assessment has pointed out to the following needs:
- Assessment and close monitoring of safe water and food supply
- Regular monitoring/surveillance of diseases and outbreaks
- Repair of water system at the Fire Mountain Clinic; additional water needs for the clinic
- Distribution of drinking water for around 400 people living in 5 villages, the Fire Mountain Clinic, and Ranon Junior Secondary School for 30 days
- Distribution of water containers/tanks for rain water catchment
- Urgent repair or replacement of the damaged water supply system
- Assessment and installation of durable water supply system as a middle-long term strategy
- Contingency planning for short term food distribution if required
- Identification of the needs and strategy for agriculture/livelihood recovery
Since houses were not damaged, emergency shelter and non-food items are not needed at this moment.
The Ministry of Health collaborates with other government agencies and health partners to assess the situation and provide timely and appropriate response.
The World Health Organization is in close communication with the Ministry of Health and other international partners during the assessment phase. WHO is willing to provide technical support and assistance to the Ministry of Health of Vanuatu.
Source of Information
Ambrym Crisis Situation Report
National Disaster Council
Ministry of Internal Affairs
Republic of Vanuatu
For further information please contact:
Dr Bernard Fabre-Teste
Tel: (+676) 23-217
Fax: (+676) 23-928
Dr. Ken Chen
WHO South Pacific
Fax: (+679) 330-0462 and 331-1530
WHO South Pacific
Tel: (+679) 3234102
Fax: (+679) 3234166
WHO Regional Office
Dr Arturo Pesigan
Tel: (632) 528 9810
Fax: (632) 528 9072