A heavy works team from the Public Works Department (PWD) is currently on Maewo in Vanuatu’s Penama province repairing roads from the central to the northern end of the island.
In the third week of July the road repair and reconstruction work had reached Leleveia and advancing toward Navitora in north Maewo where it will end.
MP for Maewo and Speaker of Parliament Philip Boedoro says that once the work on the main road is completed the team will start building feeder roads at about a dozen different places from along the entire stretch of the road starting from Malanaga i Vula, just south of Nasawa village.
He says he will be partnering with some business owners on the island and the PWD in the feeder roads construction.
“I will be dispatching drums of fuel from Port Vila to the PWD team on Maewo to carry out the work while the PWD will pay the workers’ wages,” Boedoro adds.
He says the feeder roads will provide economic benefit to the people because by enabling land owners improved access to their inland properties and also allow development to spread inland than being concentrated along the western coast as it is today.
Recently, the Minister for Infrastructure and Public Utilities (MIPU), Esmon Saimon accompanied Speaker Boedoro to inspect the work progress at Maewo during which he pledged government’s support for the infrastructure development on the island.
Since it was the first visit to the island by a Minister for Infrastructure and Public Utilities of the country since independence, Saimon was bestowed with a special honor. He was given a custom name and rank always only designated to men from Maewo after days or weeks away in the nakamal and including performing pig killing.
The Minister performed the pig killing witnessed by the main custodian of the custom ceremony, Rasaile, after which he was bestowed with the high ranking title Mwasediheleo meaning the ‘mwase’ or high ranking man, who explains.
The name signifies the feeling the people of Maewo have toward the MP for Malekula as the first holder of the MIPU to visit the island since 34 years of independence and his pledge to assist them with infrastructure development.