TSF connects Vanuatu [fr]
TSF connects Vanuatu’s relief efforts and populations cut off by Cyclone Pam
Télécoms Sans Frontières (meaning Telecom Without Borders), a French NGO focused on emergency telecommunication, deployed its first Emergency Response Team to Vanuatu on 16th March 2015. The first team deployed alongside UNDAC (United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) and provided communication technology and technical support to facilitate the coordination of post-disaster surveys. A second team was sent out on 20th March to reinforce telecom relief operations.
Connectivity for national coordination
Communications between the islands of Vanuatu were totally cut off, thus slowing down the much-needed relief efforts required to rebuild and assist Ni-Vanuatu communities. In agreement with the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer of the Government of Vanuatu (OGCIO), Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) provided satellite communications, both voice and data connections, to each of the six Provincial Emergency Operational Centres (PEOC) in order to strengthen the coordination capacities between the provinces and ensure that each PEOC director had the necessary communication tools to send assessment reports on his provinces needs to overseeing bodies.
Their assessments showed that telecommunication infrastructures were particularly damaged in Tafea province. Therefore, in addition to the connectivity provided to government bodies, it was necessary to dispatch extra equipment to NGOs working in Erromango and Tanna and provide common services connectivity not only to PEOC offices, but also to NGO field offices and hospitals. Both the French Red Cross in Green Hill, Tanna, as well as Care International in Erromango were set up with emergency satellite communications tools open for all relief organizations working in the areas, as well as medical centers for management of stock and patient logistics.
Reconnecting family ties
Using technology to reconnect families cut off by the cyclone, TSF has carried out operations in Northern Efate, Erromango and Tanna where actions are currently still underway.
With a lot of villages covered throughout several communities TSF has reconnected almost one thousand families affected by the devastating Cyclone Pam.