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EWB Australia has worked with communities in Vanuatu since 2016 to create positive social impact.
Population: 281,000

Capital City: Port Vila
Language: Bislama, English, French

As a nation comprised of more than 80 islands, Vanuatu is extremely vulnerable to natural disasters and climate change. In 2016, Tropical Cyclone Pam struck as a category five cyclone, causing severe damage to housing, health centres, schools and other critical infrastructure, and compromising access to clean water and appropriate sanitation. The country remains in a phase of recovery and reconstruction.


of people have access to basic sanitation


 have access to electricity (2016)


prevalence of stunting among children under 5 years of age (2013)


female unemployment rate

* Sources: Asian Development Bank

Our Work

EWB Australia works to improve the quality of life of people living and working in disadvantaged communities in Vanuatu. Our work is impact-led, with a focus on positive, sustainable and long-term change. We do this through partnerships with local NGOs and Government departments, to build the capacity of the people who live and work in them. We ensure the solutions developed are evidence-based, relevant and, importantly, approved by each community. 

In Vanuatu, our work is focused on our Sanitation in Challenging Environments program that sits within our work in the Water, sanitation & hygiene (WASH) sector.

Our Impact

EWB Australia works alongside EWB New Zealand in Vanuatu, and is currently engaged in a range of technical solutions and sector & systems-strengthening projects.

Our Team

Key to this work are our in-country EWB Australia staff and our volunteer Field Professionals.
Our Field Professionals are technical or thematic specialists who volunteer to work in-country to provide critical expertise, mentoring and capacity-building. These technical professionals are not only skilled in the development of appropriate systems and solutions, but also in community-led design and engagement. Our Field Professionals work alongside our in-country staff within local NGO or government organisations. Via this collaborative response, we enable and empower communities in Vanuatu to only tackle the issues that are relevant to their community. 

Stephanie Hamel
Stephanie Hamel
Country Manager - Vanuatu

Stephanie is an environmental engineer and has been working since 2006 either for NGOs in Uganda, Timor-Leste, the Solomon Islands and now Vanuatu, or in consulting and local council in Australia. Through her studies and experiences, Stephanie learnt that to be working efficiently in the water sector, one has to tap into a wide range of skills and behaviours in order to respond to the ‘wicked problems’ of today’s world. She is therefore constantly looking for opportunities to grow her own technical, social and leadership skills, as well as those of colleagues and partners, in order to ultimately create healthier and more resilient living places.

Steve Tarimaemae
Steve Tarimaemae
Technical Program Manager
As Technical Program Manager, Steve drive the scoping and implementation of EWB Technology Development projects in Vanuatu. Steve is a Ni-Vanuatu civil and structural engineer who came back to Vanuatu after studying for four years in Auckland. Steve’s family comes from the island of Ambae, North of the country and he came to Efate (the island where Port Vila is), for his last three years of high school. His older brother is a mechanical engineer too – engineering seems to be in the Tarimaemae blood!

Our Partners

We work alongside Vanuatu-based community and government organisations. Our work is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

Impact Stories

Disposable Nappy Ban Vanuatu: World First Disposable Nappy Ban 15 December, 2020 - Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB) is working with local organisation, Mama’s Laef and Vanuatu’s Ministry of Health to implement Vanuatu’s world first disposable nappy ban. Vanuatu is setting out to become the first nation to ban disposable nappies. With an estimated 20,000 babies and toddlers on Vanuatu’s 65 islands, disposable nappies are the single largest… read more
Engineering Possibilities Webinar Q&A 13 November, 2020 - During our Engineering Possibilities Webinar Q&A, held on Wednesday November 4th, 2020, we received many insightful questions and whilst we attempted to provide as many answers as possible, there were a handful we couldn’t get to. We've answered these outstanding questions below.  If you missed the Engineering Possibilities Webinar, you can view the recording here.… read more