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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.

Christina Bare-Karae
Christina Bare-Karae
Senior Programme Manager

Originally from the Solomon Islands, Christina comes to EWB with a range of experience, working in different organizations with different groups of people. Christina’s work experience included working for the Vanuatu government as senior high school chemistry and biology teacher, science lecturer, training manager for Peace Corps Vanuatu, Education officer for UNICEF, Program Director for ADRA Vanuatu, and for the last 6 years before joining EWB, as Program Manager for a Women’s Economic Empowerment project for UN Women. Christina loves working with people at the community level, especially with rural women and girls and she looks forward to contributing meaningfully to EWB’s vision and mission for Vanuatu. 

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!
Cedric Paniel
Cedric Paniel
Technology Development Coordinator

Cedric was a recipient of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trustee Award in 2019 and attended the One Young World Summit in London. His activist work in the area of community development, specifically focussed on creating platforms for discussion around youth empowerment, gender equality and climate change, made him eligible to be a recipient of the Queen’s Young Leaders. For the past six years, he has been working for NGOs such as Oxfam and World Vision in Vanuatu. During this time, he has developed his skills in community engagement, partnership building, project management and monitoring and evaluation.

He believes that partnership with a diverse range of partners is fundamental for development and sustainability growth. Cedric is now based with EWB in Vanuatu as the Technology Development Coordinator. His role is focussed on leading the delivery of the program, engaging and building relationships with existing and new partners, and supporting the monitoring and evaluation of EWB projects in Vanuatu.

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

Building resilience to increasing uncertainty: the role of climate-resilient infrastructure 18 December, 2023 - By Peter McArdle (Engineers Without Borders Australia), Anna Saxby (Humanitarian Advisory Group) and Neil Greet (Australian Security Leaders Climate Group) Increasing uncertainty Vanuatu is one of the most at risk… read more
A launch ceremony for the Erakor Bridge community toilet held in October 2022. The ceremony was attended by community partners including the Vanuatu Ministry of Health, the Vanuatu Society for People with Disability, the Shefa Provincial Government Council, UNICEF and a local school. A climate resilient and community-led solution to sanitation challenges in Vanuatu 3 May, 2023 - For environmental activist David Kalsal, fishing and swimming in the Emten Lagoon on Vanuatu’s Efate Island has always been a part of local life for him and his family. In… read more
Meet EWB volunteer, Harshana! 16 December, 2022 - Harshana, Civil and Water Engineer Volunteering with the EWB Australia in Vanuatu team Harshana is part of EWB's volunteer crew in Vanuatu, and is just one of the hundreds of… read more