Preparing for disaster and improving water supply in Vanuatu

The Vanuatu program represents a dynamic partnership between the Diocese of Port Vila and Caritas Australia to ensure communities are prepared to respond to disasters and they have reliable access to safe drinking water.

Water supply infrastructure maintenance team member Vanuatu

About the program

As Vanuatu lies across the Pacific Rim of Fire there are many active volcanoes. This area is also prone to earthquakes, which increases the risk of tsunamis. Caritas Australia is working with our local partner to decrease the risk and impact of natural disasters on local communities.

Kindergarten teachers Vanuatu

Caritas’ partner, the Diocese of Port Vila, is working with kindergarten and early primary school teachers to develop simple songs and nursery rhymes for use in the classroom. This teacher-developed program is a fun way for kids to learn what to do if an emergency occurs.

In addition to this, the Diocese of Port Vila and Caritas are working together on a water diversification program.

Most village communities through Vanuatu live on the coast. They generally have access to one reliable source of drinking water, either:

  • Spring water which relies on gravity to be piped down to the village
  • Rain water which is stored in water tanks or,
  • Ground water accessed through wells.

When the supply is interrupted (such as a natural disaster) the impact is immediate and can be critical. Caritas Australia is working in Vanuatu to make sure communities have access to at least two reliable sources of water. This way, communities are more resilient and better able to cope in the event of water source contamination or an emergency such as a tsunami, earthquake, cyclone or drought.

Program details

  • Issues: Water and sanitation; Disaster risk reduction
  • Partner Agency: Diocese of Port Vila
  • Funding in 2014/15 financial year: AU $73,013
  • Geographic location: Port Vila