Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
The global site for cruising sailors
Sections
You are here: Home / Countries / Vanuatu / Vanuatu still healing but ready for cruising boats

Vanuatu still healing but ready for cruising boats

By Peter Wederell — last modified Jun 03, 2015 12:00 PM
After Cyclone Pam wreaked havoc on Vanuatu back in March, the local communities have been working hard to get themselves back on their feet and are keen to welcome the cruising community this season. This report on the recovery of the various island groups by Peter Wederell of Total Marine Solutions, Port Vila.

Published: 2015-05-21 23:00:00
Countries: Vanuatu

Vanuatu still healing but ready for cruising boats

Port Vila market house, post Cyclone, showing the availability of fresh produce

 

Vanuatu is still in the process of healing after Cyclone Pam came visiting on March 13-14th, but we are definitely ready with open arms to welcome the cruising yachties. The anchorage in Port Vila already has quite a few boats in it for this time of year with more arriving all the time.

In Port Vila the fresh produce markets are at around 70% capacity, we even have a few pineapples which is truly bizarre for this time of year and they are particularly juicy. Tomatoes are starting to make an appearance as are the usual range of vegetables. Bananas and pamplemousse (grapefruit) are back, but limited papaya available at present.

The grocery stores are full of their usual stocks and have a range of imported fresh fruit and vegetables.

Basically all the usual amenities and supplies are close to what they were before the storm.

I haven’t been to the southern islands but have spoken to some of the locals. The bush is regenerating at an amazing rate; the volcano on Tanna hasn’t been extinguished and is open for business as usual.

Aneityum Island is still a good option for check in and they will welcome you, but remember to apply for advance approval to clear into a non gazetted entry point.

Further north from Efate, the Shepherds group is recovering well and is ready to receive yachties. Most of the reefs escaped any substantial damage and what there was is limited to the upper water column snorkeling depth.

Basically everything north of there is business as usual, although there were some effects felt.

Ni-Vanuatu are an extremely resilient people who can and do rebuild their lives after an event like this. What they need help with is rebuilding their economy and this is where the tourism industry and in particular the yachties can help.

For starters, please try to avoid the temptation to post negative images on the internet. I recently saw a picture of 2 sunken vessels claiming they were a result of the storm, when in actual fact they were derelict and submerged well before the weather hit. Those that want to come here to help will already know about the destruction. Those that may be considering not coming will be further deterred by such publicity.

There have been numerous reports from well meaning but ignorant NGOs stating such things as “50% of the country has no access to clean drinking water now”. Well, the truth is that the percentage hasn’t really changed post Pam. Ni-Vanuatu clean drinking water standards are a long way removed from the developed world’s. That being said, the town supplies where available are 100% safe.

Another NGO said the roads were appallingly potholed and causing damage to vehicles. Exactly the same as they were beforehand. Vanuatu doesn’t pretend to be a first world paradise, what it does promise is to welcome you to the same country and the same people it was before the category 5 storm, the only difference being that the land and people are now a little bit stronger.

A word on trading and bringing aid.

The National Disaster Management Office has been doing a great job and first prize would be for all aid to be directed through them. For those who wish to give aid directly I would ask you to perform your own assessment before giving anything and always give to the chief. It’s no good giving nails to a village that has plenty, only to find a shortage in the next anchorage.

In the same vein, once your cruise takes you north and away from the storm damage, do not be tempted by tales of need without conducting your own assessment, as there are those who will seek free stuff wherever possible, much like cruising sailors. Using the items you carry onboard for trade rather than aid in these instances will do a lot better for the long term recovery of attitude. Vanuatu has been subject to an enormous influx of aid and it is important to the future self reliance of the people to realize that the aid is for saving lives, not for saving work.

So, please come and enjoy our wonderful country, we are ready and willing to welcome you.

Peter Wederell
Total Marine Solutions

Related content
Port Vila
Share |
Countries
Albania
Algeria
American Samoa
Angola
Anguilla
Antarctica
Antigua & Barbuda
Argentina
Aruba
Ascension Island
Australia
Azores
BIOT (Chagos)
Bahamas
Bahrain
Barbados
Belgium
Belize
Bermuda
Bonaire
Bosnia
Bouvetoya
Brazil
British Virgin Islands
Brunei
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Canada
Canary Islands
Cape Verdes
Cayman Islands
Channel Islands
Chile
China
Christmas Island
Cocos Keeling
Colombia
Comoros
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cuba
Curacao
Cyprus
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic
East Timor (Timor Leste)
Easter Island
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Eritrea
Estonia
Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
Federated States of Micronesia
Fiji
Finland
France
French Guiana
French Polynesia
French Subantarctic Territory
Galapagos
Gambia
Georgia
Germany
Gibraltar
Greece
Greenland
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Guam
Guatemala
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
Hawaii
Heard, McDonald & Macquarie Islands
Honduras
Hong Kong
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Ivory Coast
Jamaica
Japan
Jordan
Juan Fernandez Islands
Kenya
Kiribati
Kuwait
Latvia
Lebanon
Libya
Lithuania
Macau
Madagascar
Madeira
Malaysia
Maldives
Malta
Marion & Prince Edward Island
Marshall Islands
Martinique
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mayotte
Mexico
Monaco
Montenegro
Montserrat
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar (Burma)
Namibia
Nauru
Netherlands
New Caledonia
New Zealand
New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands
Nicaragua
Niue
Norfolk Island
Northern Marianas
Norway
Oman
Palau (Belau)
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Philippines
Pitcairn Island
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Reunion Island
Romania
Russia
Saba
Samoa
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Sint Maarten
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands
South Korea
Spain
Spanish Virgin Islands
Sri Lanka
St Barts
St Helena
St Kitts & Nevis
St Lucia
St Martin
St Pierre & Miquelon
St Vincent & the Grenadines
Statia
Subantarctic & Southern Ocean Islands
Sudan
Suriname
Sweden
Syria
Taiwan
Tanzania
Thailand
Tokelau
Tonga
Trinidad & Tobago
Tristan da Cunha
Tunisia
Turkey
Turks & Caicos
Tuvalu
US Virgin Islands
USA
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Uruguay
Vanuatu
Venezuela
Vietnam
Wallis and Futuna
Yemen
Add/Update Your Business
If you would like your business to be listed, or the details are wrong, please update your business
Platinum Sponsors