Children play in the collasped roof of their preschool at Karngo. Vanuatu aftermath from Cyclone Pam. Photo Vicki Wood / Caboolture News
Children play in the collasped roof of their preschool at Karngo. Vanuatu aftermath from Cyclone Pam. Photo Vicki Wood / Caboolture News Vicki Wood

Collapsed school rebuilds in the aftermath of Pam

A THATCHED roof lays on the ground and no walls to hold it up.

But there are giggles from within the destroyed building, and then emerges five young girls.

They have all been playing inside their blown down preschool.

This is one of many instances throughout Vanuatu after Cyclone Pam ripped across the country.

School founder Max Niptik said many had never gone through this situation before.

"For me personally, the project, my home and the new school site has been destroyed," Mr Niptik said.

"It has been a new experience and very challenging."

READ MORE: One month on: Vanuatu smiles despite Cyclone Pam

His immediate focus is to get the children back in school as there is no other close to their village.

Across in Onesua, the high school is being repaired by the Fiji Army.

Physics teacher Ian Jack said they had 400 students at the school.

"We can start back students in years 10 and 13 but it will be another month for the other year levels," Mr Jack said.

"The next month will be hard, but we cannot control it."

Many people are disillusioned, as the only word they have been hearing is "assessment".

Villages are facing food crisis because their gardens are destroyed and limited supplies have left them with no income.

But the initial drops of aid have not reached all villages and the people are unable to travel to Port Vila to receive aid due to travel restrictions and expenses of travel.

Ministry for Climate Change officer Blake Napwatt said the initial problem was that the government trusted the council representatives of the area to divide the rations.

"And people are still complaining they have not seen the rations," he said.

"So the government is entrusting government officers to go house to house to assess."

"Personally I am reassuring and being positive. They know the government is struggling and they are saying they will wait.

"People are saying that it is all right, everyone has a place - it may not look fine but to Vanuatu people it is," Mr Napwatt said.

READ MORE: Vanuatu tourism takes beating from Cyclone Pam


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