Vanuatu - A nation in URGENT need
March 24, 2015
Catastrophic disasters occur around the world all the time and thank goodness we have a large number of aid agencies who are always quick to respond. The New Zealand public are usually very generous as well and aid has flooded into Vanuatu such as water, food, clothing and equipment. Unfortunately though, each disaster brings unique challenges and as Vanuatu is such a diverse and large country geographically, distributing the aid is now the biggest problem, as well as medical evacuations which are escalating at an alarming rate due to infections which are starting to set in as more and more injured people are being discovered.
There are 83 islands that make up the nation, most of these islands are inhabited and many of them now completely destroyed by Cyclone Pam. There is no shelter, no clean water and food crops are devastated. Distribution of this aid is now extremely critical. The best and most efficient way to deliver the aid is via helicopter. Unfortunately though, the government does not have the resources to continue to pay for the distribution and the cry for help has been issued. A letter (Click Here) was received by Garden City Helicopters today from the Director General of the NDMO (National Disaster Management Office) with this urgent request.
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To date, Garden City Helicopters who are the owners of Vanuatu Helicopters have been extremely busy in assisting the government and aid agencies with distribution. The company already had 2 helicopters in the region and have sent an additional 2 helicopters from Christchurch to help. These helicopters are especially equipped to handle heavy lifting of equipment and also with medical evacuations. We have received tremendous support from various different avenues and due special mention are BP who have given us $5,000 credit to put towards fuel for getting the helicopters from New Zealand to Vanuatu. Airbus Helicopters foundation have also contributed 20 flying hours in support of our aid flights.
The super yacht Dragonfly, has also been instrumental in helping to firstly assess damage on the islands, arrange medical evacuations, distribute aid and much needed water. Another super yacht presently making its way from Auckland to Vanuatu is Umbra. This yacht has a desalination plant on board capable of producing 10,000 litres of water every 12 hours. Special thanks goes to Westpac who donated 50 cases of water and Jono Fawcett from Bottles Ltd for making 3,000 10 litre containers for water which are now on board the Umbra. Large Heli lifting bags capable of carrying 600kg each will be used to distribute the water from the yacht to the Islands. Thanks to the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter team who briefed the team on the Umbra on how to use these sling loads. Thanks also to Airwork for getting the heli lifting equipment on to a pallet bound for Vanuatu tomorrow.
Many people have been ringing us and sending us messages on facebook asking “how can we help”?
What is really needed NOW is money to help pay for the distribution of aid and medical evacuations. We urgently ask the media to take up the challenge in getting public donations for this particular cause.
Donations can be sent to Glen Craig at the NDMO office in Vanuatu.
or phone +678 556 6666
A crowdfunding site has been set up to try and raise more funds to continue supplying the remote villages of Vanuatu which may have been overlooked by the big Aid agencies.
Please follow this link and share. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/volcano-diver-vs-cyclone-pam