Vanuatu daily news digest | 7 October 2014

The Solomon Star newspaper reports that Varivao Holdings in Honiara has three overseas markets – especially in the United States – for its kava produced in the Solomons and needs 20 to 50 tons of quality dried local kava every month. Dudley Longamei the company’s CEO said it was possible after the company conducted its own market research and initiatives. Pacnews reported him saying "In order to reach this market it has cost us a substantial amount of money and it was not as easy as one may think. Though the kava market has opened its doors to us in the United States, the big challenge is that there is a short supply of dried kava from the local market," Pacnews also reports. Meanwhile VCMB (produce exporter) here is probably one of the many State Owned Enterprises in-the-news in Vanuatu which has brought about the 96% decline in the government’s equity. Do we spend too long talking about kava in the international forums like Geneva?

On learning that the MKM nickel company in New Cledonia and Jin-Pei, their Chinese partners, are being required to comply with Vanuatu’s relevant environmental legislation, Dr Sue Farran in England (responsible for aspects of Vanuatu’s land law reform initiative) has advised as follows … "It is good to see that a proper environmental impact assessment is being made. Lessons from other similar projects in the region should be considered, including social impact. One reason why the company may be keen to relocate their operation is the tightening up of environmental protection and more stringent national policy in New Caledonia. Let’s hope Vanuatu isn’t seen as a walkover."

Sea bed mining is in the news and a more complete report will be given tomorrow. Some 153 licences for such mining were granted in the years to 2013.

Something not in the news today and indirectly responsible for this abbreviated bulletin today is the immense rainfall in Port Vila and environs over three days culminating in floods at the La Colline Creek culvert at the Seond Lagoon. At least this time Vanuatu Daily News Digest has not got flooded.

STOP PRESS 157.7 mm of rain was recorded within 24 hours from 8 am yesterday until 8 am today, the Met Office reports.