Tropical Cyclone Harold & COVID 19: WASH Cluster Lessons Learnt (July 2020)

Evaluation and Lessons Learned
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Vanuatu declared a COVID 19 pandemic and declared a state of emergency for its response in March 2020. WASH responded with hygiene and sanitation promotion measures across all provinces. When COVID 19 promotional measures were progressing well, a category 5 Tropical Cyclone Harold swept through the north central part of Vanuatu causing widespread damage to infrastructures and livelihood on 6-7 April 2020. The most affected islands were Santo (West, South, South East Santo, Malo, Aore, and the offshore islands, Central Pentecost 1, Central Pentecost 2 and South of Pentecost in Penama and North of Malakula and north Ambrym.

A state of emergency was declared for the TC Harold response, and WASH cluster was activated. Because of the lock down of international boarders due to COVID 19, responses to TC Harold was a local response without outside human resources support. Provincial Emergency Operation centers were opened, one in Melsisi on Pentecost, one in Luganville in Santo and the other in Lakatoro, Malampa.