CCECC says gravel is destined for African projects: Biosecurity Vanuatu wants it gone by weekend

aggregate Vanuatu

The China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) has responded to a story run in Daily Post this week concerning the possibility of foot-and-mouth disease being brought into the country on the aggregate material CCECC planned to use for the Bauerfield runway extensions. The company claims there are no sinister motives behind their decision to bring aggregate (crushed stone) to Vanuatu on the vessel currently anchored outside Mele Bay. Following the concerns raised by Biosecurity Vanuatu, and rightfully so because of the strict laws in place regarding such materials, CCECC offers reassurances that “only equipment destined for the airport works will be offloaded. The aggregates will not be offloaded and will be shipped to our projects in Africa. And that is our initial plan.” The company claims to have been in touch concerning biosecurity issues, and that at no time did they attempt to bypass the relevant laws of Vanuatu.

Director of Biosecurity Vanuatu isn’t buying CCECC’s story, telling RNZI that he explicitly told the company back in May that only gravel sourced from markets nearby would be acceptable. He says he is waiting for the Attorney-General’s Department to issue a Ministerial order on the matter so he can tell CCECC to “get this product and leave our shores”.

Australia’s Ambassador of the Environment, Patrick Suckling, visiting, has commended the Prime Minister for his strong stand against the use of plastic bags and bottles. And he has praised the PM stance on making greater use of the woven baskets which are part of our cultural heritage. The Ambassador has just visited Kiribati and Tuvalu and is well aware of the stand of the islanders there in connection with the environment.

Ham Lini, the Minister of Climate Change Adaptation, Meteorology, Geo-Hazards, Energy, the Environment and Disaster Management is meeting with his colleagues from around the region in Honiara. They are planning a more cooperative strategy towards meteorology matters for the years 2017–2026. They will be particularly concerned with climate change impacts and disaster risk reduction in our shared region and will synchronise all activities.

The three-village electricity project on Maewo, Sulua to Nasawa, is working towards a ‘switch-on’ during the Christmas holidays. The villagers have worked very hard on the Talise-based hydropower plant undertaking about to be helped by Public Works heavy equipment where spades and shovels just cannot achieve the final, deepest trenches.