A 10,000-litre water tank jointly donated by the Port Vila Presbyterian Church Assembly Committee and Port Vila Ambrym Disaster Committee, to the Clerk of the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu (PCV), Pastor Allan Nafuki, will not only benefit the imminent weeklong PCV General Assembly at Baiap, West Ambrym from August 25 to the end of the month, but after the event the tank will be rotated around Ambrym Island in times of major functions to assist with drinking water.
Chairman of Port Vila Ambrym Disaster Committee Andrew Kevu describes the purchase of the tank for approximately Vt170,000 as a “last minute decision” after the Government Ministry responsible for water had allegedly agreed to fund the water project then changed its mind last week.
“Since we are expected to host approximately 1,000 delegates to the Assembly, it was highly disrespectful for the Government to change its mind two weeks before the event and said it would not fund the project which also included water pipes and fittings”, said the Chairman.
The two Disaster Committees had requested the Ministry to fund a 6,000 water tank including pipes, water pump, generator and fittings along with showers as well as freight.
Asked if either of the two MPs from Ambrym has shown any sign to assist, the Chairman says not that he is aware of.
Among members of the Vanuatu Christian Council, PCV has been outspoken since the colonial period for the country to be set free from British and French colonial rule.
In fact, in 1973, it was the then Moderator of the Presbyterian Church, late Pastor Jack Taritonga of Epi, who was reported to have stated in its Synod that year, that in order for the church to speak with substance in the presence of the two colonial powers, it should consider adopting some form of church autonomy.
The late pastor was elected a member of parliament.
At the time, it was the moderator’s outspokenness which went on to also trigger the spirit of political independence on July 30 of 1980.
Even today the Head of State, President Obed Moses Tallis, is a devoted pastor of the Presbyterian Church from Ambrym. He and the Prime Minister are understood to be expected to attend the Assembly.