Lessons learned from Cyclone Pam; Lambubu School on Malekula gets satellite internet

Image taken from cover of Lesson Learned report

Image taken from cover of Lesson Learned report

Vanuatu Lessons Learned report (PDF, 1.7Mb), just issued, deals with the lessons learned from Cyclone Pam. It brings together the ideas of those concerned with emergency and relief procedures immediately after last year’s cyclone. It draws on the reports such people wrote. Above all it spells out a need for better warning systems and coordination between government and community groups. DG in the Ministry of Climate Change Jesse Benjamin says government is committed to implementing the recommendations contained in the report. He told Radio New Zealand International “we will try and do what we can and it something that, you know, we can learn from – and try to incorporate into our planning – so that in future events we are better prepared.” He spoke of improved evacuation centre management, more training for those running the NDMO and better pre-positioning of supplies. The report was based on an EU-funded workshop held a year ago. (Radio Vanuatu News)

It has been revealed that three local applicants have been shortlisted from a total of eight from Vanuatu and elsewhere applying for the Police Commissioner post. The names of the highly ranked officers include Robson Iavro, Albert Nalpini and Clera Seth. A new appointment is a priority for the present government after 5 different acting commissioners in 2 years. (Daily Post)

Universal access to the internet is now being provided at Lambubu school on the west coast of Malekula with the Kacific Network. “The broadband connectivity from Kacific is a major step in our work to provide universal internet access to the people of Vanuatu,” says Dalsie Baniala, head of the office of the Regulator. She foresaw better health and education opportunities for the people of the remote west coast as a result. Telsat owner and director Rod Smith points out that the VSAT terminals are low cost and easy to install, but they are also robust and portable – vital given our weather and geological dangers. (Daily Post)

Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV), in its page in Daily Post today also carries a very interesting item about communications and the right to information (RTI) for which a Bill was withdrawn as time was running out in the last ordinary sitting of Parliament this month. TIV has again drawn attention to the limited access provided by VBTC to short wave broadcasting and its often being restricted or removed from the daily news and programme production. It is, of course, the most expensive aspect of Radio Vanuatu’s electricity budget, but still very much required by those who maintain their wire antennae attached to their old SW/MW and FM sets. It is good that Radio Vanuatu is once again using both daytime and nighttime SW frequencies – albeit requiring listeners to change SW frequency mid-morning and afternoon. (Daily Post)

Many will be saddened to learn of the death Hazel Tavoa. The 75-year old was the eldest sister of the country’s first PM, Father Walter Lini and was one of the flounders of the Vanuatu National Council of Women. Father Stanley Ure paid a tribute to Hazel’s “humility, obedience, purity and determination to serve.”