Ausaid Annual Report
2012–13

australian agency for international development
  • Helping rebuild from Tropical Cyclone Evan

Helping rebuild from Tropical Cyclone Evan

Tropical Cyclone Evan struck Samoa and Fiji in December 2012 killing four people. Eleven remain missing.

Thousands were displaced by the disaster, which damaged or destroyed around 10 000 homes and caused an estimated $160 million worth of damage in Samoa and $40 million in Fiji.

Australia committed more than $11 million in emergency supplies and funding to support affected communities in their immediate and long-term recovery. Australia deployed disaster relief experts to help conduct assessments, and engineering, evaluation and education infrastructure specialists to Samoa through the Australian Civilian Corps.

In Samoa, Australian assistance of more than $8 million is being used to repair vital infrastructure and rebuild schools and health clinics, allowing 5300 students to continue their studies and 25 000 people to access health care.

In Fiji, Australian funds of approximately $3 million are supporting 17 000 students by replacing textbooks, repairing damaged buildings and providing school grants to 42 primary schools. Hospitals which service more than 470 000 people were also repaired.

A pilot project in Fiji funded by AusAID and run by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community also helped to reduce the time it took communities to regrow their crops after Cyclone Evan.

The project was established in 2010 to get nurseries cyclone-ready and make sure seedlings are protected in special containers so they are available immediately after a cyclone.

Cyclone Evan was the first proper test of this system, and it showed real results. The containers saved 48 700 seedlings. These seedlings were ready for instant planting following the disaster, helping farmers in Fiji to recover quickly.

As part of Australia's response to Cyclone Evan, this project will now be expanded to more nurseries so that families who are dependent on crops for food and income can get a head start after disaster.

Caption: Rapid response team member Mel Powell and Fiji First Secretary Tim Gill conduct a needs assessment with Fijians affected by Cyclone Evan near Nadi, Fiji

Credit: Rowena Harbridge, AusAID