Vohor and Kalsakau to be released on parole tomorrow

Eligible for parole: Serge Vohor, left, and Steven Kalsakau (right). Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Graham Crumb (Vohor), supplied

Former PM Serge Vohor and former minister Steven Kalsakau will be released from prison on parole tomorrow. Eleven other former politicians are also eligible for release, several from the corrupt former government incarcerated after charges of guilt in a huge bribery case. The former Prime Minister Moana Carcasses cannot be considered for good behaviour release until at least October. Under the Leadership Code Act, their criminal convictions mean they will not be able to stand again for political office until 2025. Read the rest of this entry »


Cyclone Cook at Category 2 and intensifying; currently west of Efate

Image: Japan Meteorological Agency/NOAA

As predicted, a tropical cyclone – named Cook — formed overnight and is currently positioned just to the north-west of Efate. It has now intensified to a Category 2 storm, and is slowing down, with destructive storm force winds of 95km/h, gusting to 130km/h hitting Efate and islands in the rest of Shefa and Malampa provinces. Gale force winds will continue to affect Sanma, Penama provinces, then later on today, Tafea province too.

Because the cyclone is both intensifying and slowing, residents are advised to take shelter and stay indoors until further notice, as the wind speed may pick up significantly. Flash flooding and power outages have been reported on Efate.


Time to get ready: cyclone headed our way [updated]

Infrared satelliite image by NOAA

[Update #2 10:15pm 8/4 VUT] Vanuatu Meteorological Services has issued a Tropical Cyclone Warning for a tropical low currently still sitting between Pentecost, Malakula and Ambrym at letter G, number 6 on the Vanuatu cyclone tracking map. The system is not yet a named tropical cyclone, but is expected to form by 6am (Sunday 9/4) as it travels slowly south, according to VMS’s latest warning #5.

Gale force wind warnings are in effect for the Banks group, and Malampa, Penama, and Sanma provinces. Gale force winds are predicted for Shefa province within the next 24 hours. The expected cyclone may reach Category 1 strength offshore west of Efate by 5am tomorrow (Sunday 9/4) before moving towards New Caledonia.

Tropical Cyclone Forecast Track Map Number 9 issued at 8:59 pm VUT Saturday 8 April 2017

Vanuatu Meteorological Services advises residents to listen to the radio or visit to their website for updates.

We will actively update this page as news breaks. 

In other news: Read the rest of this entry »


Settlements receive sanitation upgrade from Port Vila Urban Development Project

One of Port Vila's many informal settlements – a symptom of lack of urban planning at all levels of government. Photo: IOM

The Port Vila Urban Development Project (PVUDP) is improving the hygiene and sanitation of urban settlements. Settlements include the Seaside communities — Futuna, Paama and Tongoa, Tokyo Buninga plus peri-urban Ohlen Nabanga, Mele Waisisi and Blacksands Tongariki. The Vanuatu and Australian governments, the ADB are assisting, as are the people of the areas concerned who have done a lot to remove unwanted refuse and materials. Thirty-three junk collection trips have been made to the Bouffa waste site.

It appears there have been moves to unseat the CEO of the VAN2017 regional Mini Games, Clint Flood. Flood had his Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu launches 2017 as ‘Year of Agritourism’

Welcome to Vanuatu’s Year of Agritourism which launched yesterday at the Agriculture Station at Tagabe. “We must get more tourism income for farmers,” Agriculture Minister Matai Seremaiah stressed. “Others have Read the rest of this entry »


Tourism to Tanna up by 38%, Santo up by 28% on last year

A must-see on any tourist's itinerary on Tanna – a visit to Yasur volcano. Photo: Vanuatu Tourism

A must-see on any tourist’s itinerary on Tanna – a visit to Yasur volcano. Photo: Vanuatu Tourism

With renewal and renovation and upgrading being key to just about every business activity since Cyclone Pam, it was good to learn today that cyclone-hit Tanna bungalows are Read the rest of this entry »


Chinese bidder CCECC awarded Bauerfield International airport upgrade contract

Port Vila's Bauerfield international airport

The Bauerfield runway upgrades go to CCECC: it’s official. There had been disagreements between the World Bank and Government, but the World Bank is happy the processes have now followed the appropriate procurement procedures. It adds “the good news now is that all bidders have been formally notified of the completion of the evaluation process, with contract negotiations to be scheduled by the government in thew coming days.” CCECC is well-known in Vanuatu for a number of big projects, from roads to the new Korman sports facilities being constructed for the Mini Games. (Daily Post)

The Bauerfield runway repair delay is holding up the codesharing agreement with Qantas, it seems. Air Vanuatu CEO Joseph Laloyer says the codesharing Read the rest of this entry »