Life will soon be a bit easier for people living with a disability in Vanuatu, with construction of a new home for the Vanuatu Society for People with Disability (VSPD) about to begin.

The VSPD’s building on Colardeau Street was destroyed by Tropical Cyclone Pam in 2015.

For the last two years, the VSPD has been renting an office with support from the Australian Government. The brand new fit-for-purpose home will make a significant difference to how people living with disabilities, their families and staff access services and use the building.

On Thursday 16 March, the Minister of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Jotham Napat, signed contracts with two local contractors which have been approved by the Council of Ministers to kick off construction, with the Australian High Commissioner, Jenny Da Rin, in attendance.

Funded by the Australian Government, the construction will be led by local companies

Loli Construction and BI Consulting. Loli Construction will implement the project works and BI Consulting has been selected for the design and supervision of the entire recovery program including the VSPD project.

“I’m very pleased that Australia continues to help the Vanuatu Government look after people living with a disability and that the VSPD will gain a new home from which to provide services and conduct advocacy,” said Australian High Commissioner, Jenny Da Rin.

“The VSPD building is the first of 31 public buildings to be rebuilt with Australia’s recovery support.

“All buildings will be built stronger and provide access for people living with disabilities.

“Other prioritised government buildings will be renovated or rebuilt to help employees work in a safe environment and communities to receive better services,” said Minister Jotham Napat. The repairs and construction of the 31 public buildings are funded by the Australian Government through the Australia-Vanuatu Tropical Cyclone Pam Recovery Program and led by the Vanuatu Government.

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