Well in Aniwa, they had an un-improved dirt road. When it rained it was muddy, slippery and at times impassable. This was especially true in the sections that a small dry river bed which floods with rain and the hills along the road.
Imagine not being able to get to school, get to the health clinic, bring your crops to market. These were the types of impacts the people of Aniwa were having in the time of heavy rain. The rehabilitation of the road, while not sealed, was constructed such that getting bogged down in the mud is no longer an issue. Further, during heavy rains they will still have access to school, health clinic and even markets.
One thing I did not mention yet, was that there is only one road in Aniwa and that is the road we rehabilitated, thus all the inhabitants of the island regardless of age or gender benefit from this improvement.
When I was asked to come forward to cut the ribbon on the road, which I must admit is my first ribbon-cutting in my life, I was honored to be standing face to face with the very community that would benefit from this work. While I was standing there, I noticed the children and their smiling faces and that the “ribbon” was made from local vines and there were numerous oranges hung along the archway which the community created over the road.
After I cut the ribbon, I cut down the oranges and handed them to other members of our delegation which consisted of government representatives and the VCAP team. We all remarked how sweet the oranges were and indeed they were. I understood from the experience that Aniwa is known throughout Vanuatu for its sweet oranges.