Background – In 2018, after a series of volcanic eruptions, the entire population of Ambae (13,000 people) was evacuated to neighbouring islands. Anglican Missions launched an appeal to assist with the evacuation. The Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACoM) has been heavily involved in recovery and building efforts and has been supporting communites on Ambae to recover since the 2017 and 2018 erruptions. Evidence of the eruptions remains in the form of polluted water supplies, damage to houses, infrstructure, gardens and in some cases contaminated soil.
ACoM continues to support the recovery of Ambae, as well as communities on neighbouring islands that hosted the evacuated residents. The 2019/2020 tropical cyclone season started on 1st November and between 9 and 12 cyclones are predicted. While Vanuatu has a normal risk of being impacted by multiple cyclones over the season, he country is considered to be the riskiest place to live in the world (GLobal Facility for DRR 2018). Supporting communities on Ambae to be better prepared for and able to respond to natural disasters is therefore very important.
Project – Anglican Missions is joining Anglican Overseas Aid (Australia); the ACT Alliance (an alliance of 152 churches and faith-based agencies globally); Act for Peace (the international aid agency of the Australian National Council of Churches); and Global Mission Partners (formerly the Australian Churches of Christ Overseas Mission Board) in this shared project. The 8 month project has the blessing of ACoM and the Anglican Allicance.
As displaced communites return to Ambae, re-establishing livelihoods, repairing shelter and building up cash crops and livestock is a priority.
This project will:
- provide training and support in adaptive and sustainable agricultural practices;
- provide crops and garden tools to local communities; and
- establish, rebuild and train Community Disaster and Climate Change Committees which will be linked with the National Disaster Management Office and will have responsibility for ensuring communities are better able to respond to and prepare for future disasters. This includes training in community hazard mapping; assessing evacuation centres (which are often church facilites) for ‘fit for purpose’ and addressing gender-based violence.
The project responds to a clear need and has long-term sustainable benefits and will directly benefit 540 households who have returned to Ambae. The project builds on work ACoM has already started and aligns strongly with the AAW (Assocation of Anglican Women) project which is funding repairs to the girls dormitories at St Patrick’s College on Ambae.
Go here to donate. Many thanks for your support.
Read earlier background at the time of our 2017 Emergency Appeal.
St Patrick’s College photos:
Thanks to St Matthew’s, Hastings and Mt Maunganui Parish for their fundraising for Ambae :)