Penalty for sex crimes against minors now life imprisonment under new Penal Code

One of Port Vila's correctional centres. Photo: Flickr/mikecogh

The Penal Code is undergoing significant changes. The penalties for violent and sexual crimes against the younger age groups are being massively increased. Incest, for example, has the prison term extended from Read the rest of this entry »

Opposition Leader as AG agreed to Act strengthening protection of customary land – but now wants to remove those protections

Dispute over Vanuatu customary land. Photo © 2016 Vanuatu Daily Digest, all rights reserved

One of the Bills to be brought before Parliament next Monday is a Bill to repeal the Customary Land Management Act of 2013. It is described as a Private Member’s Bill. It was, however, lodged by the Leader of the Opposition, Ishmael Kalsakau, who was Attorney-General at the time the Bill was first enacted. The explanatory note regarding the Bill to Repeal, which has not been readily obtainable, claims that the Customary Land Management Act of 2013 fails to enhance the application of the constitutional rule by enabling customary institutions to deal with disputes over land owned in accordance with the customary law of each particular place. The Leader of the Opposition has opposition backbencher support for his present campaign against the three-year old legislation.

A great deal of consultation took place to ensure that every means would be found to enable the Custom Land Management Act to ensure all proper customary rules were complied with, as the Honourable MP would be aware; after all, he was the AG originally enabled this legislation – and now wants repealed.

The Customary Land Management Act was enacted to provide greater protection to customary lands against improper land dealings, by ensuring that all dealings affecting customary land involved community consultation at the nakamal level.

Kalsakau has not been available for comment (he is overseas), but a spokesman said Read the rest of this entry »

New Air Vanuatu ATR-72-600 to begin service next week

Air Vanuatu's new ATR-72-600, callsign YJ-AV73, is currently en route to Vanuatu to beign service. Photo: Supplied

Air Vanuatu’s new ATR-72-600, callsign YJ-AV73, is currently en route from the ATR factory in Toulouse, France to Vanuatu to begin service on Monday. Photo: Supplied

The new ATR-72-600 for Air Vanuatu arrives in Port Vila on Monday, when there will be a welcome ceremony at the airport. The aircraft, Air Vanuatu’s first 600 model, will provide domestic services as well as regional routes such as the one to Tontouta, New Caledonia. (Daily Post)

Manufacturer ATR released this amazing video showing the new Air Vanuatu aircraft being built in the factory, including a very cool timelapse of the plane being painted in the Air Vanuatu colours:

The National Coordinator of the Custom Land Management Act says it is “necessary to increase the [Department of] Lands budget and revisit the new Act to facilitate a peaceful process towards resolving land disputes.” Alicta Vuti made the statement after being threatened in relation to a land dispute Read the rest of this entry »

Vt 21 million missing from EU-funded energy project on Ambae

European Union flag. Photo: Håkan Dahlström/Flickr Creative Commons

Daily Post‘s page 1 headline today: “Investigation Demanded… Ambae EU aid project scandal gets attention of Euro-MPs”. Vt 21 million of the funds for the the EU-ACP Copra Oil Energy Generation Project on Ambae have allegedly been embezzled or mis-spent. Read the rest of this entry »

Drought-affected schools get mobile desalination units; Govt considers adding more seats, more ministries

Ni-Vanuatu children drinking water. Photo: Live and Learn Vanuatu

Photo: Live and Learn Vanuatu

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Pacific El Niño officially over, say meteorologists


The Australian Bureau of Meteorology says El Niño has ended for the Pacific as the tropical Pacific Ocean returns to a neutral Southern Oscillation state. Read the rest of this entry »

Vanuatu’s women battle for their livelihoods against double blow of cyclone and drought

More than half of Vanuatu’s population of more than 270,000 was affected by Cyclone Pam. Around 96% of crops were destroyed, leaving many women without food or produce to sell. In the year after the cyclone, a prolonged El Niño-fuelled drought prevented replanting, causing months of crop failure, a shortage of water and food and the decimation of the livelihoods of market vendors, the majority of whom are women. UN Women has been working with market vendors, market councils and Vanuatu’s provincial and national government and the Australian Government to help women restore women’s livelihoods and help build resilience to future external shocks like Cyclone Pam. UN Women through its Markets for Change project helped establish vendor associations in Vanuatu and other Pacific islands.
Below are portraits and testimonies of the women who are part of the Silae Vanua Market Vendor Association, which is supported by UN Women.

“Breastfeeding is hard when we don’t have much water. I use the salt water and the small amount of freshwater we have for the children.”

“Breastfeeding is hard when we don’t have much water. I use the salt water and the small amount of freshwater we have for the children.”

A trained nurse-aide, Lody Samson, 39, is a mother of three children under 14, including son Solomon Samson who is 8 months old. The coastal village of Koinga where she lives was hit hard by Cyclone Pam, which spoiled their food crops. Now most of the village’s water tanks are empty. Lody and her husband feed people who come to the church, but the lack of water makes it difficult.

Photo: UN Women/Murray Lloyd

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