AID staff visit projects in Vanuatu
Relief supplies, seeds, latrines, water systems and awareness raising: a visit to Vanuatu
Anglicans In Development has, through ABM Australia, a long history of partnership with ACOM (the Anglican Church of Melanesia) which is in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. In fact, our partnership goes back to 1861. In 2023, we have been able to resume visits to ACOM, after a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
In April 2023, AID visited ACOM Vanuatu, with whom we run one community development program and four disaster response programs.
The community development program focuses on building adult literacy skills, installing water and sanitation facilities and raising awareness about hygiene, disaster risk reduction and gender. It is currently being implemented in three communities in Torba province and four communities in Penama province. When AID visited ACOM Vanuatu, we travelled together to some program sites where the same program ran in 2021: Fanafo community on Santo Island and the communities of Nambangahake and Saranabuka on Ambae Island.
In Fanafo, the solar-powered water pump that ACOM Vanuatu helped locals to install in 2021 was still pumping water to two hill-top public sites. A local youth had been appointed to maintain the pump and turn it on every morning. In Fanafo, locals also confirmed the distributions of seedlings, soap, and water containers in 2023 through a different ABM AID-funded program: a disaster response program called our “COVID Outbreak Response” program.
In Nambangahake and Saranabuka, two concrete water tanks that ACOM Vanuatu helped locals to install in 2021 were still full of water. Both tanks were located in the centre of the respective villages, within 10 metres of public facilities. Locals in both communities also confirmed that ACOM had taught youths how to convert their existing toilets into more comfortable ‘seat-riser’ toilets and that youths had assisted many families to convert their toilets.
AID’s current programs with ACOM Vanuatu are as follows:
- Our annual community development program, described above. This focuses on water supply, hygiene and literacy. (See: Integrated Wash Project)
- Our disaster response program on the islands of Santo, Ambae and Maewo. Co-funded by Anglican Missions New Zealand and Episcopal Relief & Development (USA), this provides relief supplies, seeds and repair tools to households affected by Cyclones Judy and Kevin.
- A new disaster response program in Torba province and on Pentecost Island. Funded by Australian Aid (through the CAN DO consortium), this provides relief supplies, seeds and repair tools to households affected by Cyclones Judy and Kevin in 2023.
- An ongoing disaster recovery program in Penama province. Funded by Australian Aid (through the CAN DO consortium), this focuses on latrine construction and awareness-raising about hygiene, disaster risk reduction and safeguarding women and children in communities affected by Cyclone Harold in 2020.
- A fifth program, also funded by Australian Aid, is mentioned in the article above but finished in May 2023. It provided COVID awareness, seedlings and cleaning supplies on Santo Island.
AID would like to thank our supporters for funding the first two of the above programs. Your prayers and generosity are greatly appreciated. We would also like to acknowledge Australian Aid for funding the second two programs. Finally, we want to acknowledge ACOM and the Vanuatu communities for their hard work in implementing all the programs.