Vanuatu daily news digest | 10 June 2014

The new building at the Vila Central Hospital (VCH) was handed over by Ambassador Takuji Hanatani to Prime Minister Natuman yesterday. PM Natuman praised the Japanese aid project for its recognition that a great deal of state of the art equipment would also be needed and for providing it. The new facility contains the Outpatients (six consulting rooms), Emergency, and Pharmacy departments, the operating theatre, and radiology section along with the laboratory.. The whole facility cost VT 1.4 billion all media report.

Japanese aid has performed an additional service to the health of Vanuatu through a study of the fitness of Pango village school children. It seems 20% of children in classes 4 to 6 are showing signs of obesity, Daily Post reports. This contrasts very unfavourably with Manua primary school at North Efate, showing only a 10% obesity figure. The prevalence of junk and unhealthy foods in town and parental lack of dietary control are blamed.

A delegation of Penama councillors has been visiting the capital to discuss the lack of development in the province with government. President Lonsdale Hinge said there are many important development issues approved by the provincial government which seem to be held up in Port Vila. Radio Vanuatu News reported the meeting of the councillors from all three islands of the province and their planner with senior civil servants.

Social media it seems has now given the Rentabau Airport development the title of Skamfild because of the huge scam most likely involved in its creation and about to be unveiled in the report of the ad hoc committee to Parliament. Commentator to this blog, Nasimal, calls into doubt the business acumen of the PM and DPM who entered government into the project nearly a year ago.

VBTC News reported the Director of Forestry stating a compelling need for land owners to develop land lying idle for forestry purposes, by clearing "bush-rope" and planting commercially useful forest trees. Hannington Thaddee mentioned the importance of adding value to the land owners’ resource as soon as possible.

Dailky Post reports PM Natuman about to make his first visit to his home island of Tanna since recently taking office. He will visit villages on East, West and South Tanna and important government installations such as schools and the Lenakel hospital and the new road to Iakel custom village.

The Vanuatu Education Support Programme (VESP) has been discussing the progress of Vanuatu in achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) in universal primary education. Vanuatu is unlikely to achieve the target of 100% in 2015, yesterday’s Daily Post pointed out. VESP is a joint project hugely funded by Australia and New Zealand.