The President of Sanma Provincial Council, John Olo Aru, has responded to news that former MP for Port Vila, Willie Jimmy Tapanga Rarua, wants to register the words Healing (Holy) Water over the land in Luganville, Santo, where hundreds of people are congregating for the miracle water said to have healing powers.
Mr Tapanga Rarua and his wife have applied to the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC) to have the words registered over the land, which they have an Urban Commercial Lease for 75 years over as proprietors of the Property Lease Title No. 03/I113/053 as Lessees from the Minister of Lands, the Lessor.
But the President of Sanma has questioned: “How the land, part of the land stretching from Saint Michel, in the south to the Pekoa Airport/Banban Junction that was declared public land in 1991 by then Minister of Lands Maxime Carlot Korman be leased out.
“What’s more, the whole land was declared ‘green space’ meaning that there is public access to the whole shoreline piece on the seaward side of the main road running from St. Michel to the Pekoa Airport/Panpan Junction,” he added.
“Additionally, the law says that ownership of land only goes as far as the high water mark, which means the land in question does not include the miracle pool because it is covered by sea water at high tides.”
He said he had written to the Minister of Lands asking him to purchase back the land with the lease title and the Government urgently consider its green space status.
“This Sunday (yesterday) we celebrated the 411th anniversary of the landing of De Quiros when he called the island Espiritu Santo, which means ‘Land of the Holy Spirit’.
“In Santo also we have built the first Prayer House in the Pacific last year, based at Santo Headquarters, where people pray 24 hours seven days a week and the holy water is the product of those prayers,” President Olo Aru added.