Contract signed to rebuild TC Harold damaged schools in Vanuatu

The schools are Santo East School, Ecole Sacre Coeur de Fanafo, Sarakata, Alowaru and Avunatari Primary Schools and Nandiutu Junior Secondary.

The Minister of Education and Training Samson Samsen, said work will commence after the signing of the contract.

He thanked Australia and NZ for financing the TC Harold Recovery Programme.

Harai Construction will construct two double classrooms at Santo East Primary School in Santo. The project which consists of 14 classrooms will be built at a cost of 121,000,000 vatu. 

Traditional knowledge survey on agriculture conducted in Santo

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) said farmers from different islands have also been interviewed.

"10 farmers were interviewed to collect information related to traditional knowledge and agriculture.

"Important information collected is related to planting times, harvesting methods, storage methods, and pest and disease control methods".

Vanuatu police arrest Big Bay homicide suspect

The suspect is in custody at the Correctional Centre awaiting a court hearing on Thursday next week.

The victim died in a domestic violence case.

Police are investigating three other cases of homicide during the festive period.


Vanuatu’s new juvenile correctional facility to upskill young offenders

The purpose-built facility at Mauria is the first of its kind for Vanuatu.

The centre will run educational programmes with the hope that detainees can be re-integrated into the education system after they are released.

The Acting Director General (DG) of the Ministry of Justice, Johnny Marango assures parents that the programme is focused on learning opportunities as well as keeping the community safe.

200 people receive COVID-19 vaccine in Santo rollout

The targeted eligible vaccination population of the province is over 33,000.

Among those who were vaccinated were the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Member of Parliament for Luganville, Marc Ati, and other MPs for Santo and Luganville, President of SANMA Provincial Council, Mayor of Luganville and other heads of government departments and business houses

Fanafo, Port Olry, Avunatari, Isu and Tasmalum Health Centres are some of the temporary vaccination sites that will be set up for a certain period to encourage people living close to these areas to get vaccinated.

Farmers concerned about damaged crops on Santo Island

“In addition to the impacts of TC Harold, farmers were having issues with animals like wild pigs damaging newly planted cassava patch,” said Peter Kaoh, the Associate Director of Farm Support Association – Vanuatu.

He said farmers needed support with fencing to protect the newly planted crops from further damage.

“Fourteen rolls of pig fence at 50m was purchased and distributed to cassava farmers on Santo to stop wild pigs from bringing further damage to the cassava plots.”

Peter Kaoh said more training on organic farming practice will be carried out with farmers.

Wanfuteng Bank opens new branch in Santo

The bank which is in its third year of operation in Vanuatu reached a milestone with the new branch.

“Our vision has always been to provide excellent customer services with the best rates in Vanuatu. We are pleased to be able to extend our offering to Luganville,” said owner and CEO, Catherine Le Bourgeois.

Reserve Bank of Vanuatu Director Noel Vari thanked the bank for its vision to expand its services to Santo.

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.