Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 31 March 2015

Cyclone Pam rehabilitation has been proceeding in various ways.

Kumala planting material has been made available to people in Torba, 3,000 cuttings having been delivered to the Department of Agriculture as a project of the Milai company. A further 10,000 cuttings have been made ready for Tafea.

Small drone aircraft of the SPC have been flying over south-east Efate villages to assess cyclone damage. People were urged to respect the work of the drones in photographing the areas over which they fly. It is assisting collection of relevant data.

The Auki, a Solomon islands patrol vessel, has been delivering relief supplies to Erromango people. It has also assisted Erromango people in the capital to send parcels to families on the island. Prime Minister Natuman has spoken of the need to possibly reconsider protection of Erromango forests, their being a likely source of income for the people there.

Unelco says over 90% of its customers now have restored electricity. Repairs have cost over VT 200 million so far. Necessary equipment has been shipped to Tanna for the major restoration work of the network there.

Director of Tourism George Borugu has advised Radio Vanuatu that at least 4 more weeks of clean-up will be needed before cruise ships can return to Port Vila and permit a resumption of normal tour activities. Ships’ visits are, however, still possible to Santo. Air Vanuatu overseas flights are being reduced.

New Zealand has generously allowed to waive visa fees for workers wishing to return to New Zealand for regional seasonal work as a means of assisting income generation in their families. Over 2,000 workers are presently there with 800 preparing to go.

People at Beverley Hills are being advised to boil their water. Teoumaville water has also been declared unsafe by the Department of Health.

Members of the Fiji military have been assisting relief missions in Tanna and New Zealand soldiers in Epi and the Shepherds.