Cleaning Up After Cyclone Evan

When Cyclone Evan hit the Pacific in December 2012, schools, health centres, homes and infrastructure in most of the Northern and Western Division of Fiji were badly damaged.

UNICEF New Zealand, with help from the New Zealand Government, supported the Fiji Ministry of Health to coordinate and monitor the health activities as part of the early recovery. We also supported the provision of training in health and hygiene awareness and disaster preparedness for hundreds of community workers to support the early recovery process and strengthen preparedness at the community level. The community trainers were able to reach 157 villages - an estimated total population of 150,000 people – with health and hygiene messages.

UNICEF NZ also supported the rebuilding and cyclone-proofing of a damaged school.

preparing for disaster

Disaster readiness is also a big part of what UNICEF does, which is why it also has pre-positioned supplies for water containers, water purification tablets, nutritional supplements and “school in a box” kits in key locations around the Pacific, ready to be rolled out when needed.

With the help of the New Zealand Government, UNICEF NZ has installed a mobile desalination unit in Fiji for use throughout the Pacific region so we can respond quickly to environmental emergencies in the Pacific.

In an emergency situation, the desalination unit can be quickly deployed to any location using the folding solar panels. A tube fitted to the unit is put into the sea, and an output tube starts delivering 240 litres of fresh drinking water per hour which is collected in UNICEF water containers.

This is important because sources of fresh water in low-lying atolls are easily contaminated with sea water. In such instances water purification tablets are insufficient, and may be refused for cultural reasons.

Like to help? Donate to a current UNICEF NZ project.