The chiefs and people of Emae are smiling because the road grading on their island in preparation for the Shepherds Mini Agriculture Show (SMAS) has started at Tabakoro Village, the venue of the event towards Siwo Airfield.
The Executive Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity (MALFFB), Alfred Bani says the upgrading of the main road from Tabakoro to Siwo is also an economic advantage for farmers who badly need to transport their agricultural produce to the local market as well as by boat to Port Vila.
For newcomers to Emae, the main road on the island is so bad that all the vehicles on the island have been reduced to two FWD trucks.
According to latest information from the island, three more vehicles have arrived to help transport official guests to the Festival.
The chiefs have agreed whole heartedly to allow their natural resources, including sand and coral manpower to contribute towards completing the road project in time for SMAS.
They have also assured the Government that no landowner is going to disturb any part of the road grading with any hanging of namele leaf.
The biggest challenge to development today is land dispute and the use of namele leaf as a custom symbol to say, “Stop, you are not allowed to proceed!”
The Government has recognised the negative use of the symbol as an ingredient against development.
The SMAS will be launched on June 18.