Vanuatu loses distinguished agricultural scientist Dr Roger Malapa – first ni-Vanuatu with a PhD in science

Ni-Vanuatu agricultural scientist Dr Roger Malapa, who passed away earlier this week. Photo: Dr Vincent Lebot

Ni-Vanuatu agricultural scientist Dr Roger Malapa, who passed away earlier this week. Photo: Dr Vincent Lebot

Vanuatu has lost leading agricultural scientist Dr Roger Malapa. He died in hospital in Nouméa this week after a battle with cancer. Dr Vincent Lebot told Radio Vanuatu that the death of Malapa, from Malekula, is a huge loss for the country. He specialised in yam genetics and returned to Vanuatu after completing a PhD in France to create a breeding program to increase the genetic diversity of yams. His work has helped many farmers in the country, said Dr Lebot.

The Prime Minister has declared that there will be no procrastination in the payment of outstanding retirement payments due to former public servants. He made the point in the official launch of Government’s new staffing policy on Tuesday at the National Convention Centre. He said it was
another part of the big performance review being undertaken by the Public Service Commission addressing recruitment, performance and retirement of civil servants. Departing civil servants will now be paid all entitlements as soon as they retire. Radio Vanuatu quoted PM Charlot Salwai as saying 287 civil servants had been paid out already and a further 347 await retirement.

Flights from Nouméa to Tanna and Pekoa airport at Santo will be under discussion this month when Minister Jotham Napat travels to New Caledonia to discuss aviation routes for both countries. Norsup airport and its financing will also feature in discussions. It is now 16 years since the new airport at Tanna was opened especially for the purpose of holiday travel for residents of New Caledonia, but the intention has remained largely a wish.

Ere School on Tongoa will open on Monday, despite inability to pay the rent. The Principal says the school is required to pay a fee of Vt 27,000 annually whilst other schools pay only Vt 3,000 to 6,000. The Lumbukuti and Ere School Committee and community met together with the paramount chief and decided classes will go ahead and if the land owner has complaints they should be directed to the headmaster and not the education ministry. (Daily Post)