PORT VILA, 22 MARCH 2018 (VANUATU DAILY POST) — The Pena Provincial Government Council (PPGC) in Vanuatu has delivered its first assistance of food, water and local food to the victims of falling volcano ash in south Ambae, while assessment continues.

90 bags of rice, water and local food have been distributed to areas in south Ambae that initially experienced ash fall just after cyclone Hola, the Disaster and Climate Change Officer on Ambae, Maxson Tari, confirmed.


People in the west recently woke up to a cloud of ash towering their villages, causing poor visibility.

They did not have clear sunshine until now as ash fall continues to spread on vegetation resulting to lack of feed for animals. Its weight caused trees, crops and few buildings to collapse, it was reported.

The current ash fall is thicker thus, covered the ground surface and has caused much destruction to buildings and infrastructure, agricultural production, livestock, food and water supply equipment.

Disaster Officer Tari conveyed: “Ash fall has contaminated uncovered underground wells. It also destroyed pasture for livestock to survive.

“Over 500 herds are suffering because there are no pastures in some of the big coconut plantations in affected areas, to feed them”.

Some schools, excluding Walaha and Nafuturiki in the west have closed their doors due to frequent ash fall, Tari conveyed.

“Parents worried about ash fall posing threat on health have held their children from going to school”, he stressed.

The impact of the thick ash fall on communities are significant. Unlike other hazards like cyclone, Volcano is a slow onset and is expected to keep emitting ash fall with poisonous gases until current activity decreased.

The Disaster Officer, Tari, then made an urgent appeal for international aid.

“I am appealing to national and international organisations and agencies dealing with disaster, to support people in the vulnerable communities with food, water, livestock and agriculture”, he said.

Government assistance to the volcano victims is expected once the full cyclone Hola recovery programme commence soon.

According to the disaster officer on the ground, the ash fall has now decreased..PACNEWS [/restrict]