During the height of Cyclone Kevin, 10-year-old Roseh and his family hurriedly left their home and sought shelter at his school.
“The wind came, the trees fell, and we ran into the classrooms and slept in the classrooms until morning. When we went to check our house in the morning, everything was badly damaged,” he said.
“When the winds were strong and loud, I was scared and some babies were crying, but we all stayed inside the classroom.”
During the cyclone, the family lost their entire home including most of their belongings. Roseh’s mother, Rose, said when the cyclone approached her first instinct was to take her family to safety.
“When the cyclone and the winds started getting stronger, I carried my kids and we ran to the safe house, our whole house was destroyed,” said Rose.
Roseh and his family are now living at one of the many evacuation centres that have been set up and have received hygiene kits as well as basic household items from Save the Children.
Save the Children Pacific Regional Director, Kim Koch said Save the Children has been supporting families such as Roseh’s by distributing relief kits and shelter materials to families in evacuation centres and by supporting the Government of Vanuatu.
“The last week has been incredibly difficult for many families in Vanuatu. While they are receiving support from the Government and partner organisations like ours, the needs are great, and logistics are challenging,” she said.
The outer islands in Shefa and Tafea Province are still not fully accessible with charter flights only partially operational, and many boats damaged from the storm resulting in issues accessing critical support for families.
An estimated 48,818 students will experience disruption to their education as a result of the disasters as approximately 525 schools in these provinces were either partially or completely destroyed.
“While many schools in the country have re-opened, it will take time for children’s lives to be back to normal given the potential psychosocial impacts of facing two category four cyclones in a week,” said Ms Koch.
“Children and their families have had to experience more than anyone should, the people of Vanuatu are incredibly resilient, but they shouldn’t have to be.
“The current situation in Vanuatu should send a strong signal to the international community on the need for meaningful climate action and a commitment to mitigation and adaptation strategies.”
Save the Children has a long history of responding to emergencies in the Pacific and Vanuatu, ensuring we work alongside the Government of Vanuatu in the coordination of the response.
MEDIA CONTACT: Joshua McDonald on 0478010972 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Multimedia content from the cyclone is available here: https://www.contenthubsavethechildren.org/Share/y5th01g860kvcwkitf406v1t83ny61o.