Vanuatu main hospital urged to stop polluting lagoon

The Vila Central Hospital was made to put up notices at the start of the year, warning the public against using the lagoon for recreational activities.

The acting director of the Water Monitoring and Evaluation Unit Erie Sami said the hospital ignored an extension to remedy the problem by March, and now at worst risked being shut down.

Mr Sami restated that the discharge of sewage into the lagoon was in breach of the water resources management act, punishable with a penalty of up to $US50,000.

Vanuatu’s National Forest Inventory progresses

The islands remaining are Gaua, Maewo and Ambae.

The inventory was conducted on Santo, Malekula, Ambrym, Efate, Tanna and Erromango and data collected are in the advanced stage of analysis.

Once all the islands are completed, the Department of Forests (DoF) will submit Vanuatu’s Forest Reference Level (FRL) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) for technical review later this year, said the DoF Director, Rexon Viranamaga.

Vanuatu’s Fisheries Department’s Fisheries Officer Royline Charlie creates history

Charlie joined other officers on the patrol boat RVS Tukoro in Operation Rai Balang.

During the operation, RVS Tukoro and Australian Defence Force and New Zealand Defence Force patrolled over 50% of Vanuatu’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

Vanuatu workers back on Bundaberg farms, others risk deportation for absconding

Last month Vanuatu's High Commissioner to Australia revealed details about an employment dispute involving 51 workers who were no longer employed under the federal seasonal worker program (SWP).

It is understood many of them absconded from their employer in Bundaberg in September in search of better pay and work conditions and had been living in various backpacker hostels until recently.

According to the ABC, a spokesperson from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment said some had rejoined the SWP with an approved employer based in Childers.

Vanuatu attends Pacific Islands Memorial dedication in Wellington

The memorial is at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

The Pacific Islands Memorial recognizes the unique bond between New Zealand and the Pacific islands and acknowledges the contribution of Pacific nations in different conflicts including in the First and Second World Wars.

The giant conch shell was designed by artist Michel Tuffery and draws inspiration from the conch shell left in the Arras Tunnels by the Cook Islands and Maori Soldiers during World War 1.

It represents a symbol deeply rooted in Pacific cultures.

Farm Support Association – Vanuatu boost natural disaster recovery plans

Peter Koah, the Association Director of Farm Support Association said farmers in rural areas are not able to access seeds for sale in urban areas and have to use networks, usually family, to purchase seeds.

“Access to vegetable seeds is always challenging for small scale farmers in Vanuatu and there’s a big need to address the issue,” says Peter Koah, the Association Director of Farm Support Association. “Napil Training Centre will be planting and multiplying open pollinated seeds that will be used later during disasters and when other issues arise.”

Kava Farmers’ Association established in Canal-Fanafo

The farmers in the area traditionally rely on root crops for their livelihoods.

“The purpose of setting up this association is to address some issues and challenges that our kava farmers are currently facing in terms of pricing and accessing market opportunities,” said the associations’ chairperson, Sam Tas.

“The current price for green kava is VT 500 per kilo.

“Many kava buyers are taking advantage of young people and are buying kava at a very low price per kilo.

Vanuatu’s West Ambrym farmers sign trade agreement with South Malekula

The agreement was signed between the West Ambrym Area Council and the South Malekula Area Council at Maskelyne island.

The association was established recently to assist and encourage local farmers of West Ambrym to invest in agriculture as a business at the same time ensuring food security.

Port Vila Darts Association to increase competitions

It’s part of efforts to improve the standard ‘of competition amongst dart players.

“We are also planning to hold at least 3 fun Competitions throughout the year – namely the Popular game called AFL and a drawn Double Competition,” said President of the Association, Stu McEwen.

According to McEwen,  the association has two seasons annually.

“Season 1 started in February each year with 14 home and away games and 3 weeks of finals. There is a small break in between season 1 and season 2 with season 2 commencing in July.”

New health facilities for Vanuatu’s Pentecost communities

A new health centre will be built at Melsisi and dispensaries will be constructed at Ledunvisi and Point Cross.

The project includes the refurbishment of Abwatunora Health Centre.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) and World Bank approved the project under Part 3 of VIRIP Finance Agreement, Public Building Reconstruction and Improvement.

The VIRIP which is worth Vt158 million was launched in response to Cyclone Pam which hit Vanuatu in 2015.

The cyclone caused extensive damage to infrastructure