Rita finds calm after the storm

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

When pregnant Rita heard Tropical Cyclone Harold was on its way, she sought protection for herself and her unborn child in an evacuation centre. “During the storm we thought we would be safe in the concrete building because it was quite new, but then the roof fully lifted off the building. We were so scared that we jumped through the window to run to buildings that were still standing,” recalled Rita of her frightening experience.

Over 17,000 houses were damaged or destroyed by Tropical Cyclone Harold, leaving around 87,000 people without homes.

Vomboe Molly, World Vision Vanuatu’s Response Manager, said, “World Vision is supporting the most vulnerable community members affected by Tropical Cyclone Harold including people with disabilities, female-headed households and pregnant women. It’s a challenging time for all those affected but it’s especially difficult for the most vulnerable.”

World Vision supported Rita with relief items including a shelter kit, tarpaulins, blankets and mosquito nets.

Rita shared, ‘I’m very grateful for the help I received from World Vision. It really calmed me down as my due date is getting closer.”

More than three months on from devastating Tropical Cyclone Harold, World Vision has reached 14,506 people, including 7,694 children, 364 people with disabilities and 367 female-headed households with essential relief items. World Vision has distributed 3,904 tarpaulins, 1,035 shelter toolkits, 359 solar lanterns, 2,846 blankets, 1,321 hygiene/dignity kits, 3,319 jerry cans, 566 mosquito nets, 410 water filters/buckets, 1,131 ending violence packages and 3,398 COVID-19/protection messages. We worked closely with partners, including the Sanma Provincial Emergency Operations Centre, who led the response. World Vision will continue to work with the government through the Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office and support communities to recover from Tropical Cyclone Harold and the impact of COVID-19.

World Vision's Tropical Cyclone Harold response was funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Humanitarian Partnership, UKAID through Start Fund, the Government of Canada through the Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund, and relief supplies donated by the Government of New Zealand and UNICEF.  Support was also provided through generous donations from the people of New Zealand and Australia.