Vanuatu Government services on Ambae to be restored

The Council of Ministers of Vanuatu has ordered the immediate recommencement of Government programmes and services on Ambae island.

The council met on 11 December and also agreed to a continued emphasis on second home and safe shelter options outside of Ambae.

The COM approved that all Ministries and Departments to immediately recommence programms and services on Ambae to pre-disaster operation levels in-line with Government policy requirements.

Likewise, development partners and NGOs humanitarian assistance on Ambae is welcome for the recovery and continued development of the Island;

The COM approved the Saratamata Office to be opened as a Provincial Sub-Branch in order to enable a functioning Provincial Government with all Provincial staff returning to support recovery, preparedness and normal operations, while funding is being secured and construction is completed for the Penama Provincial Headquarters in Loltong.

It also approved that as a volcanic hazard persists on Ambae and in efforts to reduce risk and build resilience for Penama Province and its people, it remains a priority of Government that Ambaens establish a second home or have a safe shelter option off of Ambae in the event of future eruptions.

The COM decision is made on the basis of significant changes in the context on Ambae Island and humanitarian needs during the last nine months, especially considering the decline of the level of the volcanic activity that led to the change in Volcanic Alert Status to “stable” and the movement of the majority of Ambaens back to the island.

With this new COM decision, the Department of Strategic Policy Planning and Aid Coordination (DSPPAC) as Secretariat to the National Recovery Committee (NRC) will be further reengaging with Ministries/Departments, Clusters/Sectors, Provincial Authorities and communities to update priority activities on Ambae Island as well as continue to work with donors and partners to secure additional funding to further support recovery efforts and meet the needs of affected people.

Photo supplied Caption: Penama Provincial Headquarter, Ambae island



Tensly Sumbe