Vanuatu will be receiving relief supplies to its isolated islands through the help of Green Peace’s vessel, Rainbow Warrior.
Two months after Cyclone Pam wrecked through the country, many scattered islands of Vanuatu are still in dire need of power, basic survival necessities such as food and clean drinking water, and thousands of people still lacking proper emergency shelters.
The ship will be delivering basic supplies including tools, solar torches, clothing, kitchen utensils, stationery and books, together with the other supplies that were left stranded at the capital, Port Vila.
The Director of the National Disaster Management Office in Port Vila, Shadrack Welegtabit, said that they were very thankful that Green Peace had offered to lend Rainbow Warrior to bring help and assistance into Vanuatu’s remote communities.
“There are ongoing tireless efforts from many different organisations working to provide relief to Vanuatu and its’ people. But delivering aid to all of the nation’s 23 worst affected islands has been a challenge because Vanuatu has limited vessels available to distribute relief to all affected islands and getting supplies around is a slow and tedious process,” Welegtabit said.
The Greenpeace Pacific spokesperson, Matisse Walkden-Brown, said that according to aid agencies on the ground, solar torches are a main need due to the power outage in many parts of the country.
Walkden-Brown, a Fiji national, believes that it is important for the Pacific region to unite in times like this when the region is faced with the harsh realities of climate change, commenting that:
“Greenpeace is here with the Rainbow Warrior to stand in solidarity with the people of Vanuatu not only to assist with the on-goings efforts to rebuild their home, but to help amplify and multiply their voices,”
Walkden-Brown also raised her concerns about the frequency of freak storms experienced throughout the Pacific regions as a result of climate change.
“…As Pacific Islanders, we have a right to stand up and challenge the world’s most polluting companies and nations. They are having a direct impact on our lives and homes, Pacific Island countries may be vulnerable to climate change, but we are also strong, loud and we have every right to challenge the global governance that has so far failed, putting our existence at risk,” Walkden-Brown said.