When Cyclone Pam blew in to Vanuatu on March 13 it set back development of this proud, independent island nation. Villagers are very dependent on agriculture and forestry to raise small amounts of cash. The trees that they grow in their gardens supply nuts and fruit, but also occasional sales of timber that are used for local construction or to pay secondary school fees. Australian forestry has had a long tradition of working with Vanuatu, and this appeal is being supported by the Institute of Foresters of Australia and Foresters Without Borders.
But there's a problem
The Department of Forests and the Vanuatu Foresters' Association provide seedlings and support to farmers and forest growers across all of the major islands of the 86 islands of Vanuatu. Nurseries, shedding and houses for forest workers have all been damaged.
Here's what we're doing about it.
This appeal is to raise money for repairs and reconstruction of buildings and nurseries and provide sufficient nursery materials to help growers produce additional trees to reforest areas damaged by the cyclone and get Vanuatu back on the path to self-sufficient agriculture and forestry.
With money from this appeal the Department of Forests and members of the Vanuatu Foresters' Association will re-build and support growers whose livelihoods have been affected by the cyclone.
We have budgeted for re-roofing and repairing buildings, buying shadecloth and greenhouse materials, and new rainwater tanks. We aim to raise at least $30,000.