Eighty-two-year-old Elcy, who lives on a small island off Santo, Vanuatu, was taken to an evacuation shelter for protection against the 200 kilometre an hour winds generated by Tropical Cyclone Harold.
“On our way to the shelter, the storm winds nearly blew me off balance,” she recalled.
Elcy had originally planned to seek shelter from the storm in one of two houses but they were both damaged.
“I was so terrified during the storm. I’ve never seen anything like that in my life,” she explained.
Over 17,000 houses were damaged or destroyed by Tropical Cyclone Harold, leaving around 87,000 people without homes.
World Vision Vanuatu’s Country Director, Kendra Gates Derousseau, said, “Tropical Cyclone Harold generated a lot of fear in the community. People have lost their belongings, their homes and their livelihoods. It’s a particularly difficult time for vulnerable members of the community including the elderly and those with disabilities, which is where we have focussed our relief efforts.”
World Vision provided Elcy with a hygiene kit which includes essentials such as soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, a comb, toilet paper and underwear. A grateful Elcy shared, “Thank you so much for coming to help me and my family. Help is scarce and what you have provided is very important and precious to us.”
More than three months on from devastating Tropical Cyclone Harold, World Vision has reached 14,506 people, including 7,694 children, 676 elderly people, 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.