At Least 2,000 Children on Remote Islands in Vanuatu At Risk of Potentially Deadly Waterborne Diseases Like Diarrhea, Warns Save the Children

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Francine Uenuma 202.450.9153 (M)

Washington, D.C. (March 19, 2015) — Communities on isolated islands in Vanuatu are facing the perilous prospect of dwindling fresh water supplies.

Save the Children is warning that more than 2,000 children are at risk of potentially deadly illnesses like diarrhea because drinking water reserves have been contaminated after Cyclone Pam battered the country last Friday night.

Save the Children Country Director Tom Skirrow said: “We are hearing reports that children are contracting waterborne diseases such as diarrhea and the longer these children have to drink contaminated water, the more likely it is they will become sick.

“Some communities are reporting only having about a week’s supply of drinking water left, which could put lives at risk.”

Save the Children has distributed more than 4,200 gallons of drinking water to vulnerable communities, and is preparing to ship 1,300 gallons to Tongoa Island in the Shepard Islands.

“Many of the communities on outlying islands are telling us they have no choice but to drink contaminated water from tanks and brackish wells littered with debris.”

Cyclone Pam tore through Vanuatu last Friday night impacting 150,000 people, half of which are children.

How You Can Help

You can support our emergency response and disaster relief efforts in Vanuatu by making a contribution to our Cyclone Pam Children's Relief Fund. Please give generously.

Save the Children invests in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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