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Vanuatu's Council of Ministers approve urgent restoration of services on Ambae

Vanuatu's Council of Ministers (COM) wants to see the immediate reinstatement of essential services such as water, health, infrastructure and telecommunication on Ambae to support the return of the people.

A set of 16 priority recommendations in the Ambae Disaster Recovery plan were endorsed by COM. The first one on the list is the deployment of a team from Public Works Department to clear the Longana and Walaha airstrips for flights to resume directly to Ambae.

The immediate restoration of water supply system to Lolowai and Saratamata, and power supply to Saratamata are crucial to support Government services.

The deployment of health officers to Nduindui Health Centre and Lolowai Hospital is a priority.

Since a lot of people have already been moving back to Ambae, Digicel and Telecom Vanuatu Limited (TVL) need to switch on their network in west Ambae and other parts of the island.

The COM wants the two telecommunication companies to establish 3G and 4G network for the people to access internet.

It also approved the deployment of Vanuatu Police Force officers on the ground to provide security for evacuees returning home.

Business owners should return and re-establish their businesses such as retail shops, guest houses as well as banking services.

While the Penama Provincial Government will be relocated to Pentecost, the central government services should resume on Ambae to support affected people.

The Government will also support Ambae chiefs to take care of their people on Ambae and those displaced on Maewo, Santo, Efate, Pentecost and Malo.

The government, with the assistance of humanitarian partners will continue to provide relief supplies for another four months this year.

The COM agreed for government to assist with transport for those resettled on another island want to inspect their properties on Ambae and collect building materials to construct their second homes.

The National Recovery Committee (NCR), Department of Land and partner agencies will continue to work on the second home concept.

These recommendations were submitted by the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) to COM with the findings of the Ambae Disaster Assessment Report..

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