Wet season road damage in Port Vila

As Vanuatu’s wet season continues, residents of Port Vila are raising concerns over poor road conditions in the capital.

A local bus driver, Harry Joseph, says the Malapoa Estate Road in Port Vila has not been upgraded since Independence in 1980.

He says it is sad to see many leaders and investors who are residing in or driving through that area, are having to travel on roads that are in such poor condition.

“I plead to the Government to consider fixing our road because it is not safe for our drivers or our vehicles,” he said.

“It is difficult to catch a bus in this area because bus drivers don’t want to drive on this road because of its bad condition.”

Mr Joseph said the poor and unsafe conditions are on “not only the Malapoa Estate Road but are on the Anambrou, Simbolo and Bladinier roads and in other areas in Port Vila.”

Public Works Department Media Officer, Antoine Malsungai, says Port Vila roads are not “the current focus” of the Ministry of Infrastructure.

He says the ministry is prioritising fixing roads in Vanuatu’s outer islands before concentrating on roads in the capital.

Mr Malsungai says the department has allocated a budget of VT300 million towards the maintenance of roads in Port Vila, but he says the works are still some way off, with companies yet to undergo a tender process to undertake the work.

“The tender process should start in June or July this year,” Mr Malsungai said.

“However, a construction company has won the tender to repair the Anambrou road and construction work on that road should be starting soon.”

Mr Malsungai says many roads in Port Vila do not fall under the responsibility of the Public Works Department.

“The Bladinier road, for example, is not a public road,” he said. “The developer would need to hand that road over to the government for it to be declared as a public road to be maintained by the government.

“This also applies to other roads in Port Vila.”

VBTC has witnessed heavy-rain damage to roads across Vanuatu as the country experiences both La Nina and wet season weather conditions.

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