UK charity uses chainsaw skills to clear damage in Vanuatu
Charity brings relief to disaster victims one tree at a time
19 March 2015
When Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu on 13 March, it left devastation in its wake.
Reports show that 90% of the buildings in the capital were damaged, and the people are in desperate need of supplies.
One of the biggest obstacles to getting help is that vital roads are blocked because of fallen trees.
And that’s where DART comes in.
DART, which stands for Disaster Arborist Response Team, is a group of UK volunteers who help clear away debris when natural disasters strike.
They’ve sent a group armed with everything from chainsaws to ropes so they can restore the infrastructure, particularly in the smaller outlying islands.
The team members, who hold City & Guilds NPTC Chainsaw qualifications, have made the 32 hour flight to Vanuatu and are prepared for the worst.
That's why they've brought their own shelter and three weeks’ worth of dehydrated food. That way, they can be self-sufficient instead of draining the local supply.
They were also disciplined in packing to make room for their essential but heavy kit.
Despite their efforts, they were still 30kg over their allocated weight allowance, said Mike Metcalfe, Operations Manager.
He said that luckily, Singapore Airlines waved their excess baggage costs.
They have a long few weeks ahead, but Gary Bailey, who founded the charity, said the effort is all worth it.
‘The situation is very reminiscent of what we experienced in the Philippines after typhoon Haiyan, so I’m confident that what we’re going out there to do will make a difference,‘ he said.
Follow their progress on DART’s website >