Eratap Village Cyclone Pam Fund
My partner and I had visited Eratap Village in November 2014 and when my partner, Shane Hindman, heard about the devestation caused by Cyclone Pam he was keen to help. He is donating his labour for free, but needs donations for materials! 100% of donations received by us will go to materials for the school and village (less any bank fees, only). We will keep everyone updated with the progress and will formally report how the money is spent. I have set up a Facebook page for "Eratap Village Cyclone Pam
When news hit of Cyclone Pam, the only point of contact we knew of was the nearby Aquana Beach Resort which is a small Australian family run resort which employs over 50 villagers from Eratap. Shane offered his volunteer labour to Aquana (which was also badly damaged) so they could get up and running as soon as possible so that the Eratap Villagers would again have some income. Once Aquana was employing the villagers again, he could concentrate on what the village needed.
Aquana has generously supported Shane through his quest since, for which he is very grateful.
As a licensed contract carpenter his main aim is to teach the villagers how to repair their homes so that they can withstand another cyclone, as well as rebuild the school.
With help from Aquana, Shane and his "A Team" of villagers have now built new toilets for the school - the first time they have had water connected for flushing and hand washing. Previously they had to fill a bucket of water outside to bring in each time and sewerage was running out onto the ground from a broken pipe in the old toilets.
Much more needs to be done though!
The kindergarten needs a new building - estimated $35,000.
Electric wiring at the school needs to be made safe - there are live wires running across the top of the ground! Estimate $10,000
New Water tanks to the school to ensure adequate clean water for drinking, toilets and handwashing - Estimate $10,000
Two more toilets are needed - Estimate $10,000
Replace Play equipment at the school which was all destroyed in the cyclone - Estimate $10,000
Upgrade the road to the village - which has had no maintenance since it was built in the 1960's and is now impassable by most vehicles - even walking is difficult -
Miminum estimate $35,000
(The village was originally situated on an island in the lagoon near Aquana but was devestated in a cyclone around 1960. The village was then moved to higher ground which is when the road was built, never to be touched again!)
Strengthening roofing on residences to withstand cyclones - Estimate - $?!
Villagers cannot afford drills and screws, so roofs are simply nailed on. These lift quickly with strong winds and their homes are destroyed,
Shane has built up a wonderful relationship with the local villagers since March and they are really keen to learn as much as they can about building.
Your donation would be deeply appreciated by these beautiful people no matter how small - to re-house those still without housing; to strengthen their homes; to rebuild the school; to repair their access road so they are not isolated - and to ensure their safety when the next Cyclone arrives.
We have had a very kind donation of an Antique Governor's Pony Cart (thanks to Abe Mehmet) which is being auctioned through Millpond Farm Auctions. If you know of anyone who might be interested in antique carts please tell them about this. Their website is millpond.com.au. I have attached a photo.
Shane has now returned to Australia after spending 6 of the last 8 months helping out in Vanuata after Cyclone Pam. The new toilets at Eratap Village School have been completed. Again, a big thanks to Shane's mate, Mark Dryden from Kangaroo Valley for coming over and donating his time to do all the plumbing.
Water is a problem at the moment though as they have been experiencing unusually dry weather. With no rain, the water tanks are empty and Shane has been paying for water out of his own pocket to make sure the kids have a high level of sanitation. Organising another water storage tank for them is now high on the agenda.
What is most important now for the village is to work on the road up to the village, which has deteriorated substantially in the last few months - and it was already abysmal before that! Shane is currently assessing the cost and we will be working hard to raise the funds for this first small project under gofundme - hopefully by mid January when he is returning to Vanuatu. More updates on this next week.