Cyclone Pam: Vanuatu shaken but not defeated

07 March 2016

When Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu in March last year, pigs, chickens, goats and cows were killed and injured in their thousands and their housing was completely destroyed.

Thanks to your support, we gave help and hope to those animals who needed it most. We supplied emergency feed to more than 30,000 farm animals, and vets worked around the clock to treat the sick and injured.

In a part of the world where cyclones lay waste to communities nearly every year, recovery is one thing – but preparation is key. With your generosity, we are helping the people of Vanuatu prepare themselves and their animals for the future.

A little know-how can go a long way

We have been running workshops on Epi and Efate Islands to help locals make do with what they’ve got when faced with a natural disaster. Lives can be saved by: using basic tarpaulin and locally chopped bamboo to fashion a water trough for pigs; making silage (compacted food that can be stored) so that animals don’t go hungry when fresh feed is in short supply after a cyclone; and making sure that chicken coops have high perches so that chickens are safe during floods.

One farmer is even training his pigs to run to shelter! Now he is teaching other farmers how to train. He knows that spreading knowledge is the key, and so do we. That’s why we’re working on an instructional video to broadcast via phones and at community meetings. None of this would be possible without your support. Thank you.

Pam the Puppy, a survival story

In the wake of Cyclone Pam, you may remember our vets found a puppy lying in the wet grass. She was six months old and hours from death after eating a poisonous fish washed up by flood water.

Steven Clegg, our disaster response team leader, recently returned to Vanuatu to check up on how the community and Pam the puppy were getting along. He said: “My heart jumped when I saw Pam and how healthy and bright-eyed she looked.” Pam is lucky to have been adopted by a loving local family and has become a bit of a super star in her village following her close call with death.

Touching survival stories like this one are only possible because of the compassion and generous support of people like you. Thank you for moving the world to protect animals

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