Pacific Red Cross volunteers trained and mobilised to support communities

Published: 14 March 2015 4:22 CET

By Kate Roux, IFRC and Teresa Bass, NZRC

In the Pacific, one of the world’s most vulnerable and storm-prone areas, disasters can strike at any time. Just ask Eseroma Ledua.

For the past five years, Eseroma has worked with Fiji Red Cross, training Emergency Response Team volunteers and equipping them with vital skills to help them bring their communities to safety. This week Eseroma, the volunteers he has trained, and hundreds of others throughout the region are putting this knowledge on disaster risk reduction to the test as Severe Tropical Cyclone Pam and Tropical Cyclones Bavi and Nathan make their way across the Pacific.

From Solomon Islands to Vanuatu and Fiji, Emergency Response volunteers trained in everything from first aid to evacuation measures have been preparing to support their communities through the storms.  

“We are worried about the next 24 hours. But we have invested a lot of energy into preparing for these kinds of moments,” says Eseroma. In Vanuatu, where the worst of the catergory 5, Severe Tropical Cyclone Pam was concentrated, the Red Cross has mobilized their network of 200 active and 200 on-call volunteers.

They are working closely with the Ministry of Health, Provincial Disaster Committees, and other government actors to provide support to community members who were experiencing heavy rains, gale-force winds and falling debris. In Shefa Province, the Red Cross has also been tasked by the National Disaster Management Office to carry out assessments at evacuation centres: checking conditions and ensuring proper water and sanitation standards are in place.

“We face so many disasters in this region,” Eseroma continues. “People across all these islands are strong. We know how to come together at times like this.”

“But it is still frightening,” he continues. “While we are fairly isolated from the rest of the world, I just hope they won’t forget us, especially if we need more support.”  

  • To read the press release click here
  • To view Fiji Red Cross preparedness activities, click here


For media inquiries contact: 

 In Suva


In Vanuatu

  • Jacqueline de Gaillande; Mob: +678 27418 Tel: +678 7743029                                       
  • Email: