Loh to get new climate proof Area Council Office

Contract signing for Wilco Hardware to supply and deliver materials for the new Loh climate-proof Area Council Office

By Anita Roberts

The small island of Loh in the Torres Group will have a new climate-proof area council office soon, thanks to the Vanuatu Coastal Adaptation Project (VCAP).

Construction of the office is expected to begin next year following a Vt15 million contract agreement signed by the Minister of Climate Change (MOCC), Ham Lini, with Wilco Hardware for Wilco to supply and deliver building materials.

Funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), VCAP has been building the resilience of vulnerable communities to adapt to the effects of climate change, through improved infrastructure.

Establishing Area Council Offices strong to withstand adverse weather is part of the activities of the Department of Local Authority.

VCAP has project sites in every provinces of Vanuatu and has constructed three climate-proof area council buildings so far.

The three offices are located at Batnapi in Central Pentecost, Naone (South Santo) and Rovoliu on Epi. The new one for Loh will be the fourth.

Other components of the climate change project include infrastructure, agriculture and forestry.

Since 2015, it has been concentrating in the three provinces severely affected by cyclone Pam with a focus on Epi, Pentecost and Tafea outer islands and is now extending activities to other sites.

On the day the Toh Contract was signed, Minister Lini also signed another contract with the Shamba Diggers to carry out road works in South Malekula as part of the infrastructure component.

The contractor will fix a 9km-road extending from Arof to Okai area at a cost of Vt45 million.

Improving this road is one of the main concerns of the people from the area. Works should commence this month (December).

Works under both contracts should be complete by March next year, 2018.

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