Red Cross gives emergency supplies to Tanna volcano refugee eviction victims

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Red Cross assistance
Red Cross officials distributing tarpaulins and jerry cans to the eviction victims in Vanuatu. Image: Vanuatu Daily Post

By Glenda Willie in Port Vila

The Vanuatu Red Cross Society (VRCS) is one of the first humanitarian organisations to intervene and support the volcano internal refugees who were victims of eviction order at MCI on the road to Blacksand last week.

Emma Mesao, senior branch officer of SHEFA Red Cross, said the organisation dealt with the lives of people, and they responded to natural disasters.

While the eviction was not a natural disaster, people’s living and welfare had been affected.

On Thursday, a team was deployed to the area to assess the situation and identified two priority needs, including shelter and water.

The Red Cross distributed two tarpaulins and two jerry cans to each household. More than 60 households received their share of emergency supplies.

Mesao confirmed that when distributing the supplies, they had also encouraged the people to boil water before drinking to avoid other health issues.

Relocated to other settlements
Most of the families have relocated to other settlements.

Many of them went to Blandiniere Stage Three, and Crystal Blue Area.

Others went to other areas within the peri-urban areas of Port Vila, including Blacksand and Erangorango.

The Red Cross team visited all the areas to distribute the water containers and tarpaulins.

Speaking on behalf of the families at MCI, Lai Sakita, thanked the Red Cross for providing the families with the tarpaulins and jerry cans.

These emergency supplies would allow the people to set up temporary shelters while they resettled.

SHEFA Provincial Government Council, through its National Disaster Management Office officer supported VRCS in the logistics, during the distribution rollout.

He said these families were victims of the ash-fall from Tanna’s Yasur volcano.

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