Responding to two major crises with WASH in Vanuatu


In Vanuatu, communities have been dealing with the dual challenges of COVID-19 prevention and the devastating impacts of Tropical Cyclone Harold.

WASH is a critical first response to both of these crises.

Our partners, World Vision have played an active role on meeting both of these challenges head on. By leveraging their existing networks and projects, they were able to quickly to respond, stepping up their outreach to communities with COVID-19 hygiene and prevention awareness, reaching approximately 30,000 people.

They mobilised their existing network of lead farmers and faith leaders to spread the messages even further, conduct training on bamboo tippy tap construction and share awareness materials and instructions on prevention measures such as this great tippy tap video.

World Vision Vanautu's role in emergency response can be clearly demonstrated in this sequence of events that saw Vanuatu grappling with not one, but two emergencies in the same period.

  • On 26 March 2020, the President of Vanuatu signed a declaration for a State of Emergency (SOE) over the whole of Vanuatu for a 2-week period, for the purpose of strengthening COVID-19 prevention and containment measures. 
  • The Vanuatu Emergency Cluster System was activated.  WV Vanuatu is active in the Communications, WASH, Gender and Protection, Logistics, Food Security, and Health clusters.  WV Vanuatu also support the Tafea and Sanma Province Emergency Operations Centers.
  • COVID surveillance and community awareness activities were significantly ramped up. World Vision has reached a total of approximately 30,000 individuals across 4 provinces with COVID preparedness, hygiene, and violence reduction messaging.
  • On 4 April 2020, Tropical Cyclone Harold formed to the north of the Vanuatu archipelago.  It made landfall on 5 April as a Category 5 storm with catastrophic winds and damage caused across the country.
  • Working with the Government of Vanuatu, WV Vanuatu was able to provide WASH and Protection support to those in need after the cyclone both with pre-positioned materials, humanitarian deliveries, and local materials.


Picture: World Vision Vanuatu staff member tests out the newly constructed tippy tap handwashing station (World Vision Vanuatu)

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