Port Vila, Vanuatu - Residents of Pentecost, Penama Province, Vanuatu, an island about an hour by plane North of the capital Port Vila, will soon enjoy access to markets, safe and clean drinking water and an Evacuation Centre. This will be made possible through the climate resilient infrastructure development at Bwatnapni, which includes the rehabilitation of roads and a climate proofing Evacuation Center.  Climate resilient infrastructure by its very nature can safeguard and strengthen developing countries’ economic growth from current and future climate impacts.

A handover ceremony in Vanuatu last week recognized the partnership between Government agencies, development partners and the private sector, officiated by Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji Resident Representative Levan Bouadze.

Vanuatu Prime Minister Hon. Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas and UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Resident Representative, Levan Bouadze at the handover ceremony in Pentecost. (Photo: UNDP/Donald Wouloseje)

The Prime Minister acknowledged the funding support from UNDP and GEF through VCAP in collaboration with Government agencies to address the real needs for the people of Pentecost.

“Our people of Pentecost are so fortunate and should be happy today to have this infrastructure at their door steps to complement the current government policies to bringing government and its services to our local communities,” said Hon. Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas.

The infrastructure development will allow market access for local kava farmers to transport their produce via road from rugged inland terrain to sea ports on to Vila and Santo. The new area council building will be the hub for provincial administrators and local communities to discuss development priorities. The installation of a new water supply system ensures access to safe and clean drinking water.

UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Resident Representative Levan Bouadze said, “UNDP and the Global Environment Facility is pleased to join other development partners and actors in the climate change programme in Vanuatu to continue to offer its assistance to Vanuatu government in these challenging times through its Resilience and Sustainable Development Programme. We have demonstrated our support in the past and we will continue to provide this support in the future to come”.

He thanked the Government of Vanuatu for the mutual partnership over the years to assist government in the climate change agenda through the VCAP project to deliver these milestone achievements for the people of Vanuatu.

“On behalf of the people of Penama Province, we are so proud today to witness this milestone development for our province and its people. We are so grateful to the national government with the help of international development agencies such as UNDP, to reach out to our local communities through these achievements and our people will be forever grateful to this level of support to transform the lives of our people in Penama province,” said Jackson Atin, President of Penama Province.

The climate proofing infrastructure is expected to benefit a total population of 4, 900 in Central Pentecost including for 350 students from secondary schools.

Ifira General Services (IGS) was contracted by VCAP to deliver on the road infrastructure, while the area council building was constructed by Loli Construction from the island of Pentecost. The water system was supported through the Department of Water Resources with the assistance of the local communities. Infira Wharf and Stevedoring Company provides wharfage services at the main maritime international port in Vila.

The infrastructure development has been implemented by the Vanuatu Coastal Adaptation Project (VCAP) with support from the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

For more information, please contact:

Donald Wouloseje, UNDP Programme Analyst, Vanuatu; email: donald.wouloseje@undp.org; Twitter: @DonaldWouloseje; tel:(678) 7734349; 

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