Maewo intensifies preparation to accommodate Ambae evacuees

Ezekiel Boelum

A Maewo Response Management Team (RMT) has been formed to coordinate work to accommodate evacuees from Ambae, who land on Maewo as the evacuation about 10,000 people on the island starts for fear of a major eruption of Lombenben volcano.

About 100 leaders comprising of chiefs, chairmen of village councils, women, youth and church leaders, business people and line government officers from health, Public Works Department, education and the police on Maewo met at Beitarara Friday morning and formed the response management team.

The chairman is Chief Rasa Ure, Vice Chairman is Gregory Taranban and the Coordinator is Ezekiel Boelum and the RMT is comprised of representatives of Government line departments, the chairmen of the four Ward Councils of Maewo, the two Area Council Secretaries and the two Councilors of the island.

Boelum says one evacuee from South Ambae already on Maewo was at the meeting and briefed the attendants about the situation on the ground at Ambae and the mood of the people affected.

The meeting decided on Gambule School at Beitarara as the place to receive all evacuees and from there to dispatch them to the different village s throughout the island where the people are ready to help accommodate them.

Boelum says at Beitarara preparation is in full swing with stockpiling of food and firewood and cooks selected ready to assist the evacuees for up to six days while they are processed and transported to their village of eventual accommodation. And at each village, the people are making the same kinds of preparations to receive evacuees that arrive.

The MRMT will be liaising closely with the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) on the evacuees Maewo can expect.

Boelum says the leaders meeting also discussed plans for rolling out in consultation with NDMO, if the situation with the volcano continues for months or even years.

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: jonas@dailypost.vu. Cell # 678 5460922

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