© World Animal Protection
Along the way, we've treated and fed animals like dogs, goats and cats and are now heading for the Shepherd Islands to continue our aid delivery. These islands are listed by the Vanuatu government as among the most critically in need of aid and also have high animal populations.
A four year old male ram suffering from parasites and skin infections. We gave him deworrning drugs and antibiotics to get him back to good health. Ekipe village. Efate Island. MArch 20, 2015. © World Animal Protection
What we've seen so far, is that surviving animals pre-exisiting poor health have been made worse by the stress and trauma from Cyclone Pam and that food shortages are the major challenge. We aim to coordinate food delivery to coincide with humanitarian shipments of food aid to help entire communities at once and avoid competition for food resources. The people of Vanuatu love and depend on their animals and would otherwise go hungry as they share the food aid meant for them.
Livestock like goats and cows are foraging on leaves and grasses not yet dead that have been blown off trees or flattened by the cyclone but we know this will run out in the next week or so.
It is urgent that we provide food to animals across the country to prevent an emerging crisis of a potential famine before the newly planted crops can grow and sustain them again.
Communications are down in the areas we are heading so my next update may be once we return late in the week. Know that because of your support, we are out working every day to help the animals in the hardest hit areas and giving them the help they need with food, shelter and through mobile veterinary clinics where our vets are equipped to treat disease and injuries.