National Disaster Management Office

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The Minister of Climate Change launched in its compound the 9 Port Vila Tsunami Sirens on the 3rd of August 2017.The government of Japan through the World Bank funded the 3-year roject known as Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction (MDRR) that aims to identify urban hazard areas in Vanuatu and strengthen resources to increase preparedness toward Tsunami events. The launching event, marking the MDRR project completion, was attended by NGOS, Private Sectors,The Lord Mayor, Shefa Province Representative, Ministry of Climate Change staff and other government officers. Allattendees (including all Port Vila town residents and surrounding villages) were allowed the opportunity to hear the sirens ring for 30 seconds after the launching ceremony.

Director General, Jesse Benjamin from the Ministry of Climate Change thanks the Vanuatu National Disaster Office, the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department, Local Authorities Department and the Shefa Province for their collaboration on this project which is the first of its kind in the pacific, establishing over a hundred tsunami evacuation signs, 52 Tsunami information boards, 74 evacuation maps and 9 Tsunami sirens. Acknowledgements were also extended to Communities, Land Owners and Port Municipality for allowing installation of the tsunami sirens and signage boards around Efate and Santo.

Mrs Janet Orah, Acting Shefa SG acknowledged that the SHEFA Area Secretary Network will continue to look after the existing tsunami resources. In addition, the Lord Mayor stresses the importance on educating our schools on the usage of the tsunami evacuation signage and sirens.

tc donna government response torres islands infographic july 2017

Download the graphic here:

OFFICIAL MEDIA RELEASE. 3:27pm Monday 29th May 2017 - NDMO APPOINTS FIRST FEMALE NEOC CONTROLLER DURING TROPICAL CYCLONE DONNA

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The Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) appointed the first female Controller in the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) last week to coordinate the ongoing response and relief in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Donna.

The NEOC is activated for all disasters and major emergency operations requiring coordination. Liaison officers from government agencies and partners are represented in the NEOC to work with the NDMO to:

  • gather information, issue situation reports and operational maps;
  • conduct damage assessments and coordinate support, including donor assistance;
  • make logistical arrangements for relief supplies and distributions; and
  • compile assessment reports and prepare briefing papers.

Ms Alice larem Sanga, who is the NDMO Senior Disaster Management and Climate Change Advisor, was appointed to take charge of the NEOC at the beginning of last week. Ms larem has been Alice larem Sangaworking with the NDMO for the past six years. ‘It was a surprise to be appointed as NEOC Controller but it was a real privilege. It has been a very busy week and I have learnt a lot from working with everyone’ Ms larem said.

Mr Shadrack Welegtabit who is the NDMO Director said this was a very important milestone and showed there are opportunities for females in leadership roles. ‘I am very proud of Alice who has done an excellent job this week to ensure people of Torres and Santo are receiving much needed support. Alice has shown   great leadership which will hopefully inspire more women to take on these roles’ Mr Welegtabit said.

The Australian High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Ms Jenny Da Rin also offered her congratulations, saying ‘the appointment of Ms Iarem into a leadership role within the NEOC sends a positive message to women and girls in Vanuatu and provides a strong role model for the younger generation of girls interested in a career in public service.’

For further information, please contact Mr Shadrack Welegtabit, NDMO Director on email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 777 1926.

OFFICIAL MEDIA RELEASE. 5.20pm Sunday 7th May 2017. DIRECTOR OF THE VANUATU NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT OFFICE. 

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The Pacific Island region has always received overwhelming offers of support from its fellow islands and close neighbours when struck by disaster.

Donated items can be helpful, but the types of gifts, and the timing in which they are sent is important, or it can unintentionally harm humanitarian response in the early stages. Those wanting to show their support are strongly encouraged to make cash donations to agencies working locally in country. The Government of Vanuatu works with a range of partner agencies, please see a list here.

In the immediate time after a disaster, life saving relief items are the greatest priority. Agencies have stockpiles and identified suppliers at the ready, to purchase and transport these items to the affected communities. These are standardised so communities get consistent quality relief items as much as possible.

It is important that airlines, shipping lines, local wharves, trucks and warehouses are available to do this. When our generous neighbours send second hand clothes, teddy bears, and food items of various quality and local appropriateness, they take up this valuable supply chain space for immediately needed life saving items.

Also, unless there is an organisation arranged to receive, pay clearance fees, and distribute the items, the Government is left to deal with them. This means containers often sit for long periods, taking up room and accumulating fees, while much needed relief items are prioritised. For TC Pam, the storage fees for unsolicited donations were $1.5 million. By the time some containers were opened, many of the items had perished. The Government then had to pay to sort and dispose of them.

In the first three months, cash donations are best. Donated money is used to purchase and transport priority relief items. Where possible humanitarian agencies will purchase in country, which helps re-establish local economies and livelihoods.

In several weeks time, the Government and humanitarian agencies will have a better idea of what donation items will be the most useful to the communities. If needed, a follow up media message will be sent advising of useful items for donation. Thank you for your understanding. For cash donations to immediately assist communities affected by TC Donna, please contact our partner agencies. Please see a list here.

For more information on how some donated items negatively affected TC Pam and TC Winston response operations please refer to the Vanuatu NDMO page here

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Government of VanuatuNDMO


Phone: +678 22699 / +678 33366  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Post: NDMO, Private Mail Bag 9107, Port Vila, Vanuatu