Vanuatu daily news Digest | Another bulletin seemingly not sentPosted: March 20, 2015
Prime Minister Joe Natuman has seen the Cyclone Pam damage on Tanna. “The same as Efate’s, north to west Tanna there is much damage.” Many roofs are off and in Blackmantown 80% of the housing is down.
PM Nataman sees the country’s disaster position as most people do. “We are still living. The trees and fruit will return. This is still the yam season. “ Fruits and vegetables will, of course, be rotting within a week, but of course, planting is still possible. “PM Natuman: We are alive and people are working heavily and continually to restore constructions and provide shelter.”
The PM was holding a press conference with Radio Vanuatu coverage. It was decided to continue the state of emergency for a total of two weeks (a decision taken two days ago by the Council of Ministers)” the PM said.
The Southern District Committee is activated. They will report to the National Disaster Management Office and government. Their first concern is shelter and the New Zealand gift of tents, tarpaulins and tools is much appreciated to provide for such emergency shelter. Government has lifted import duties and taxes on construction materials and garden equipment and essentials like spades and seeds. Schools are closed until 27 March. The lost time will be made up by taking away from school holiday time.
The PM was anxious to point out how the State of Emergency (SOE) is not the same as that provided for in the Constitution. The Constitutional SOE covers situations like the VNPF riots. We are not continuing with a curfew. People and commercial establishments have a right to go about their business at any time, the PM said.
The Acting Police Commissioner, Job Esau, however, was anxious to point out how the police could still stop and inspect anyone, anytime. There has been street and nakamal (though not many open) criticism of the minor involvement of the police and VMF in their not taking a major clean up role as in Cyclone Uma.
Further bulletins will be issued, and hopefully, with the early resumption of the internet. TVL technicians are working on it. They also have special deals on internet compatible mobiles, they said Wednesday.