Vanuatu Recovery – Cyclone Harold

Cyclone Harold vs Covid-19

Vanuatu has been dealt two emergencies at once. In the midst of Covid-19,
the northern islands have been smashed by category 5 Cyclone Harold.

Let’s come together and support our Pacific neighbours.

The Storm

Tropical Cyclone Harold was a Category 5 storm (for context, there is no Category 6) that swept through the Pacific in April 2020. Hitting Vanuatu at its most powerful, this slow-moving storm wrought widespread destruction across the country’s northern islands.

The Aftermath

As Harold moved on, it’s been revealed that communities in the islands of Pentecost, Ambrum and Samna Province suffered extensive damage and are left in extremely vulnerable conditions.

Gardens and farms that provide a majority of the local food supply have been destroyed. Combined with power and communication outages and damage to stores, some areas have food supplies for as little as 7 days.

Islands are reporting up to 90% destruction of infrastructure, including homes, medical centres and community buildings. Compromised water supplies have seen authorities recommending all water be boiled before drinking.

The New Reality

Vanuatu has been in lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, further complicating relief efforts. Border closures and restrictions on the movement of people has seen relief organisations withdrawing or heavily reducing their presence on the islands.

Local authorities are now tasked with providing emergency relief while attempting to prevent a deadly viral outbreak.

What can we do?

Co-Ground has worked in partnership with remote Ni-Vanuatu communities for over 5 years. In 2015, we saw the power of local community action after Tropical Cyclone Pam and the ongoing social outcomes that follow as a result of working together.

We know this is an opportunity for empowerment.
Let’s continue to back local community strength and resilience.

For more information please head to our relief and recovery project page:

Before and after photos: Melsisi Village, Pentecost, Vanuatu – Cyclone Harold 2020