“Cyclone Pam hit Port Vila as a category 5 cyclone in March 2015. Many water tanks were destroyed, pierced by debris, and houses lost. For the first two weeks the only clean water available on half road Erakor was coming from the earthbag tanks [at the earthbag Women’s Center.] Suddenly everyone understood what the women had been trying to do.
Lesieli Joseph is the president and founder of the Ernas women’s centre Port Vila, Vanuatu. Lesieli has built 40 earthbag tanks since cyclone Pam and has started women’s groups in seven islands. An earthbag water tank in the islands costs $600 to build including materials and labour. Although it is one third of the price of a manufactured one, the price is still prohibitive for many families.
Lesieli has now started her own not-for-profit building business called Vanuatu Earthbag Building. You can check them out on Facebook.”