Ambae Volcano Evacuation Assistance

Update received on 2/24/19:

The Walaha community is working toward a purchase of 15 hectares (37 acres) of rural land on Santo Island in Vanuatu. This land will serve as a "second home" since the volcano on the home island of Ambae has caused two evacuations since 2017. 

This new land will serve as a new village and farmland for the community. There will be houses, a school, church, and food gardens, all from land that will cleared and built by the community.

The community has deposited around $9,000 towards the $35,000 total cost for this land. Any donations will go towards this expense.

I will travel to Vanuatu again March 14-23, 2019.

After this trip, I will personally take any further donations with me on my next trip in June 2019.

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Original story:


My name is Luke Drake and I will travel on August 13th to Vanuatu, where I will meet the evacuated community of Walaha village. I lived in Walaha, on Ambae Island, from 2[phone redacted], and the entire population of Ambae Island, in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu, is being evacuated for the second time in the past year due to volcanic eruptions. Communities are evacuating to nearby islands of Santo and Maewo. The photo above, taken by Cila Ben, is of Walaha community members evacuating on August 8th by ship.

The community will be on Santo Island and is in urgent need of money to purchase water, food, tents, and dust masks.

I will be taking donations with me to give directly to the community in August. There are many other communities from West Ambae evacuated to Santo, and I can take any donations to those communities for anyone who wishes to designate in particular. 

You can view a multimedia presentation some of my students made a few months ago: Ambae's Volcanic Crisis. 

This is a short notice for the fundraising, but the mandatory evacuation order was only given this week, and residents of Walaha will board a ship to Santo on August 8, 2018. They will leave behind their customary land that provides self-sufficiency in terms of food and housing, to stay in temporary shelters away from their land for an unknown period of time. 

During an evacuation in late 2017, evacuees faced shortages of fresh fruits and vegetables and tents. While large-scale relief efforts provided some rice and other supplies, communities still needed cash to purchase local produce.

Photos by Cila Ben, Samsley Vanua Tamuate, and Kirk Goodman
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Organizer

Luke Drake 
Organizer
Los Angeles, CA
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