The Ambae Molitawata Council of Chiefs claim that 80% of evacuees that were relocated to Maewo, Santo and Port Vila, during the Ambae volcanic disaster, have already returned home.
They attribute the move by their people to return home, to the national government of the Republic of Vanuatu and donor partners, churches, private and business organizations, as well as individuals from within and outside the country.
Speaking on behalf of the Molitawata Ambae Council of Chiefs, the president and the members of the Ambae Council of Chiefs in Port Vila, said the families who left their island in haste during the volcanic disaster, were greatly affected in many different ways over the last two years.
“Our people and families faced many challenges over the time when they left their island until the time they began returning home, but we are thankful for all the support given to our people and families by the national government through the agencies such as the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), Police and VMF and their Maritime wing, the Red Cross Society, the Geohazards, Provincial Governments, Chiefs, Church Leaders, Business and Private Sector Organizations, Churches, and many others inlcluding individuals,” the president of the Ambae Chiefs in Port Vila, Alicta Vuti, commented. The chiefs also expressed their appreciation to former Members of Parliament for their contributions towards the safety and welfare of their people.
The chiefs said the decision of the council of ministers in approving and funding the Tambae Sports Games, contributed a lot in promoting the moral of the young men and women throughout the whole island of Ambae.
“We appreciated the role played at the time by the ministry of youth and sports that helped bridge our young people, in the participations of the sports in the Tambae games.
“Everyone that contributed at the time in the games including; the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Vanuatu National Youth Council, UNFPA, Vanuatu Football Referee Association, Vanuatu Football Federation, Penama Football Association, Tokatara Council of Chiefs, former MP Jay Gwele, Mahalia Management, and many individuals for their tremendous contributions, which we appreciated,” Chief Vuti said.
The chiefs concluded by calling on the people of Ambae on the island, in Port Vila, Santo and elsewhere to remain united and committed to the course of rebuilding and advancing their economic and social wellbeing now and in the future.