Cyclone Pam update: Our team protects animals on Efate Island, Vanuatu
We have been in Vanuatu for four days now, providing emergency care for animals across Efate Island. We have encountered dogs, cats, chickens, goats and much more, in urgent need of attention.
Village after village throughout Efate Island, where the nation’s capital Port Vila is situated, have been destroyed by Tropical Cyclone Pam. The Category 5 storm hit the island nation of Vanuatu last week causing complete devastation.
Protecting animals and helping communities on Efate Island
Alongside the evident impact on people in local communities, animals have been left with no shelter and critical food shortages. Our first four days in Vanuatu have been spent providing care, treatment and food for animals across Efate Island.
Without shelter, many animals are suffering from the intense heat. The trauma of the Cyclone has left those animals in poor health, vulnerable and in need of immediate attention. In cooperation with local veterinarians and volunteers, we are running mobile veterinary clinics to reach animals in the hardest hit areas.
With Vanuatu’s population heavily reliant on agriculture to survive, as well as for income, ensuring that the nation’s animals are cared for in this time of need will not only help the animals, it will be crucial in ensuring communities can get back on their feet quickly.
Food is in critically short supply
Most pressingly, animals need food. Livestock are foraging on leaves from fallen trees that are not yet dead, a supply that we know will soon run out leaving the situation critical. Many pets simply have no food whatsoever. We know that many owners and communities will share their much needed supplies with pets at times like this, putting pressure on their own survival.
The young mother and her puppies pictured told a familiar story. With no food available she has been unable to feed her puppies, who were so hungry they tried to nurse off our team’s fingers. We were able to feed the young family and give them a chance of survival in desperate times.
The next phase in our response
Today our team is traveling to the Shepherd Islands, listed by the Vanuatu government as among the most critically in need of aid. With high animal populations on the islands, particularly livestock, we expect there to be an urgent need for veterinary care and food supplies.
Cyclone Pam has caused unheard of devastation in Vanuatu, leaving hundreds of thousands of animals short of food, shelter and access to veterinary services. We urgently need your help to protect as many animals as we can and help communities on the islands get back on their feet.