Malampa petitions Government
The Malampa Provincial Government Council has petitioned the Vanuatu Government for improvements in infrastructure on the island of Malekula.
The President of the Malampa Provincial Government Council, Norbert Nguyen Nimban, gave a petition to the Prime Minister Bob Loughman, during the Prime Minister’s visit to the island last week.
President Nimban says the petition calls for three areas of improvement. One is for the government to extend the tar sealed road on Malekula which would be the third phase of a tar sealed road project on the island.
The second part of the petition is to upgrade the Norsup Airport on Malekula and the third is to increase the price of copra for copra farmers in Malampa.
He says the Provincial Government has secured a huge land area to work on the Vanuatu Government’s key policy to increase and improve agricultural production.
In response to the petition, Prime Minister Loughman says in the last 40 years the country has been focusing on tourism but today the Government wants to put more emphasis into the agricultural production sector.
The Prime Minister acknowledged Malampa Province for their support to the Government for prioritising agriculture in their policies.
“Productivity depends on the access of services such as electricity,” he said.
He says the Government work to extend the tar sealed road on Malekula this year.
“The Norsup Airport is a different level of development where the Government needs the people in Malekula to solve some land issues and the Government needs advice from the Malampa Provincial Government Council before work can move forward,” he said.
Prime Minister Loughman says the Norsup Airport is a needed public facility that serves the public interest but land owners must solve their issues in a timely way for the development to go ahead.
Prime Minister Loughman says the Minister of Infrastructure and Public Utilities will work on the Norsup Airport Project.
The Malekula tar sealed road project construction begun in 2015 with support from the China Civil Engineering Cooperation Company. Its Phase One was completed in 2019 whilst commencement of Phase Two which began the same year.