An EIT team recently returned from a second stint helping Vanuata rebuild after Cyclone Pam hammered the island nation early last year.
The group of seven – comprising EIT staffers, former tutors and a Dannevirke student who has since graduated from his carpentry programme – re-roofed two medical centres, one in Port Vila and another on the remote island of Tanna.
Leading the team, head of EIT’s trades and technology school Todd Rogers says it was a win-win experience for all. The seven returned elated at being able to help recovery efforts while islanders appreciated the efficient re-roofing of the two clinics.
“Before our work on the Port Vila building, the roof looked like it had been ripped into by a can opener,” says Todd. “We rebuilt that and we took off the patchwork roof on the Tanna medical centre and replaced it.”
Todd says building work has progressed slowly since his first trip to appraise the damage inflicted by Pam in March 2015.
“It’s expensive for the people of the outlying island of Tanna to get in contractors. We knocked that job over in three or four days and then returned to Port Vila to repair the roof there.”
The team’s expenses were covered by aid – the Australian Government granted $7.2 million to the Ministry of Health in Vanuatu to repair buildings used for medical purposes.