NASA analysis shows more than 624mm of rain fell on northern islands during Cyclone Donna

The video above from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shows rainfall during Cyclone Donna as it crossed northern Vanuatu between May 2 and May 10. Extreme rainfall exceeding 624mm is shown in purple. Aerial reconnaissance has revealed damage to villages, buildings and crops in the Torres and Banks islands from cyclonic winds, extreme rainfall and storm surges.

At last: the agreement to start the Bauerfield runway works has been signed by  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 »


Partnership with China’s HNA Tourism Group to boost tourism numbers from China, says Govt

Vanuatu Government and HNA Tourism signs strategic partnership. Photo: supplied

Vanuatu Government representatives including PM Salwai and FM Leingkon and HNA Tourism Group sign the strategic partnership yesterday. Photo: supplied

Yesterday we reported PM Salwai signing a Strategic Operation Agreement with a Chinese tourism group. This relationship is said to be Read the rest of this entry »


Public urged to report Vietnamese ‘blue boats’ illegally fishing in Vanuatu territorial waters

An example of Vietnamese 'blue boat' – fishing vessels that have frequently been caught plundering the fisheries of Pacific nations. File photo: Wikimedia Commons

An example of Vietnamese ‘blue boat’ – vessels known to be illegally fishing inside the territorial waters of Pacific nations. File photo: Wikimedia Commons

Vietnamese ‘blue boats’ illegally fishing in our exclusive economic zone are a threat to Vanuatu’s environment and food security. Fisheries Director Kalo Pakoa asks the public to call the Vanuatu Mobile Force’s Maritime Base on 22860 to report any sightings of ‘blue boats’, so named for their distinctive hue. They are not fitted with automatic identification systems, as is the case with vessels licenced to fish in our waters, so are difficult to track. Three such vessels’ captains have been prosecuted recently in New Caledonia and their catch seized by the French Navy, but they subsequently escaped Read the rest of this entry »


Seasonal worker scheme expands recruitment into remote communities as demand from NZ farmers grows

RSE scheme workers Philip Tasso (L) and James Iata (R) pick apples on a farm in Motueka, New Zealand. Photo: MFAT NZ

RSE scheme workers Philip Tasso and James Iata pick apples on a farm in Motueka, New Zealand. Photo: NZ MFAT

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New Australian High Commissioner welcomed to Vanuatu by Head of State

Australia's new High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Jenny Da Rin. File photo: GPE/Creative Commons

Australia’s new High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Jenny Da Rin. File photo: GPE/Creative Commons

Good wishes being expressed for new Australian High Commissioner, Jenny Da Rin, whom I was privileged to meet informally earlier this week, ahead of Australia Day tomorrow. The new head of mission for our largest development partner has presented her credentials to President Lonsdale and has spoken of the excellence of the relations between the two countries. More recently she has had talks with Acting PM Joe Natuman, Radio Vanuatu News told us today.

Daily Post details breaches of the Leadership Code by the former Education Minister Bob Loughman. Loughman is alleged to have instructed the Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu community organisations petition Australia over its support of Indonesian military units involved in killings of Papuans

Video still of Detachment 88 troops firing live rounds at civilians attending the Third Papuan People’s Congress, October 19, 2011. Photo: West Papua Media

Video still showing members of Detachment 88 firing live rounds at civilians attending the 3rd Papuan People’s Congress, October 19, 2011. Photo: West Papua Media

The Vanuatu’s leading national community-based organisations are petitioning the Australian Government to “stop the killing [of] Melanesian people in West Papua” by way of providing financial support and military training for elite Indonesian Kopassus and Densus (Detachment) 88 military and police units, made possible through Australian bilateral military cooperation with Indonesia. Apart from the Vanuatu Free West Papua Association, organisations signing the petition include the Malvatumauri, VNCW, VANGO and the National Youth Council. All bodies remain convinced that indigenous peoples have an inalienable right to freedom and sovereignty over their national territory. The Australian Government is petitioned to respect all the instruments on Human Rights adopted and proclaimed by the UN General Assembly. (Daily Post)

Government will ensure stability in the maintenance of services to the people. This was another of the points made Wednesday evening in the Prime Minister’s Read the rest of this entry »