Fourteen Vanuatu police officers suspended for Big Bay incident

The Vanuatu Daily Post reported that police in Santo were accused by villagers in part of the Big Bay bush area of assault, using firearms and burning property while on a call-out.

Commissioner of Police Robson Iavro said officers were deployed to the area in response to a land dispute.

However he said at least 14 police personnel had now been suspended after initial investigations.

The commissioner, who said the investigation was continuing, conveyed the force's regret that families in the village concerned had been victims of police conduct.


Vanuatu Red Cross begins distribution of relief items in Santo

The families received items such as tarpaulins, hygiene kits, blankets, kitchen set, sleeping mats, jerry cans, shelter tool kit and mosquito nets. 

These relief items were donated by International Federation Red Cross IFRC, New Zealand Red Cross, Australian Red Cross.

The Red Cross staff and volunteers were mobilized immediately to support affected communities identified by NDMO for Red Cross to respond.

People of Vanuatu’s SANMA province need assistance

This was confirmed by Mayor of the Luganville Municipal Council, Peter Patty.  

“We are badly affected. We urgently need water, food and shelter at the moment.” 

“Many have lost their homes. Schools are destroyed. Electricity is down.” 

According to Mayor Patty, the worst affected areas in SANMA are West Coast, South Santo, Malo, Aore including Luganville. 

Currently, communication networks in the affected islands are still down thus, assessing the impacts of the cyclone is difficult. 

Cyclone Harold updates: Storm makes landfall on Vanuatu's Santo

Cyclone Harold - a category five, the highest possible - has sat just to the west of Vanuatu's central islands for much of the past day, gathering significant strength in the past 12 hours.

On Monday afternoon, just after 1pm, local time, it made lanfall on Santo's southwestern coast, and is forecast to continue on a track that takes it very close to Luganville, the country's second-largest town with a population of more than 16,000 people.

Vanuatu Cricket out to develop the sport in Santo

With offices and staff established on Santo, Malekula and Tanna, the VCA are continuously striving to develop cricket as a sport in Vanuatu.

Over the last three months (July – September), VCA development staff on Santo have facilitated three competitions, the East Santo under 10 school cricket competition, the Inter Primary School Sports competition in rural Santo, and the Inter Primary School under 12 competition in Luganville.

East Santo U10 School Competition

Vanuatu’s Santo holds first ever plumbing and trades training

The training is being organised in partnership with the Vanuatu Skills Partnership, Torgil Rural Training Centre (RTC) and Bombua School.

The trainee are from Torgil Rural Training Centre and neighbouring islands who have prior experience in the field, as well as carpenters who are seeking to enhance their plumbing skills.

“Within the one-month course, four core units will be delivered and participants will translate their learning in the classroom, into practical hands-on exercises at Bombua School”.

Two confirmed cases of whooping cough in Santo

A statement from the Ministry said as of January 29, 2019, two cases have been confirmed by clinical testing

The cases are Okoro village in Santo and Aore Island.

MOH confirmed that the two victims were hospitalized at Northern Provincial Hospital in Santo and are being carefully monitored by the focal surveillance officer in Luganvillle.

The Ministry of Health is advising parents that Pertussis is preventable and urges them to ensure that their children are up-to-date in their vaccination schedule.

Vanuatu NDMO appeals for patience from volcano evacuees

Operations Manager, Peter Korisa, said the extension has been made until 26 November while the Manaro Volcano remains at alert level 2.

Ambaeans relocated to Santo and Maewo in early August have expressed their concerns about the care of their crops and animals remaining on the island, as well as how they themselves will cope with the oncoming cyclone season while living in flimsy shelters with inadequate food.

Peter Korisa said the government had very limited resources and he was appealing to the evacuees for calm and co-operation.

Warning for Ambae people moving to Santo

The government has ordered the mandatory evacuation of Ambae, where crops have been smothered and water supplies contaminated.

The government has reached an agreement with the nearby island of Maewo, where chiefs have agreed to accept the Ambaeans and set aside land.

But many Ambaeans want to go to Santo, the country's biggest island

The prime minister has said Ambaeans who wish to move to Santo or another island can do so but at their own cost.

Air Vanuatu commences additional flights to Australia, New Zealand and Santo

Additional flights announced in January will operate during peak seasons from now until January 2020.

The additional aircraft will operate new services between Brisbane and Santo and Vila on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

“Leasing this aircraft allows our own 737 to increase services to Sydney and Auckland,” chief executive officer Joseph Laloyer said.