Vanuatu daily news Digest | 12 March 2015

The news is all largely meteorological today and Cyclone PAM is at the centre of it all.

Tropical cyclone warning no. 11 just before 3 o’clock this afternoon still centred PAM a fair way off Maewo – 315 km north-east of that island. PAM’s pressure was given as 950 hectopascals at the centre with winds of 185 km/hr. Damaging gale force winds of 75 km/hr are likely to affect all provinces except Tafea overnight, but they are still only gale force winds – as distinct from hurricane force winds – which are forecast. Much VBTC air time is given over to telling us all how we should make sure our valuables like birth certificate, passport and the tropical cyclone tracking map are stored in plastic bags.

Radio New Zealand International is assisting with our PAM warnings which is very kindly in view of the poor state of our own national broadcaster’s short wave (and other) transmissions. If you have difficulty with our shortwave, check out 9700, 11725, 15720 and 9765. They are not all on at once of course.

Stories which have failed to make it to this blog in the last 24 hours include the Port Vila Beautification Project planned to start in June. This is the project which will rehabilitate both portside, from along the wharf road, to water-front, along the downtown sea wall. A walkway from Nambawan Cafe round La Tentation (ex-Rossi) to Fatumauru Bay is also planned.

As well as being Commonwealth Day, Tuesday, it was also Matthew and Hunter Day. PM Natuman hosted a small kava ceremony for those associated with the flag-raising voyage of 32 years ago and the ongoing work to retain the two volcanoes as part of Vanuatu territory. Natuman had discussed the matter with French Foreign Minister Fabius when he met President Hollande in Nouméa a few months ago and both leaders were agreed to resolve the problem in a good way. France is willing to discuss the matter and Natuman feels this is important in view of the strong relationship between the two republics.

Vila Times has the strengthening of the cooperative movement as a key issue. Plans are afoot to have the Vanuatu National Cooperative Federation revived. The National Trade Development Committee has been discussing the matter in Santo. You will hear more about this soon.

Chocolate is now manufactured in Port Vila, and I will make sure you hear more about that, too. It is delicious.