Background

Severe Tropical Cyclone Pam (TC Pam) was a category 5 cyclone that moved through Vanuatu on 13 March 2015. Passing just east of the island of Efate, the ensuing impact from extreme winds and moderate rainfall resulted in severe damage to infrastructure including roads, bridges, housing, telecommunications, and sewerage and water supply systems. 17,000 buildings were destroyed or damaged, livelihoods dependent on agriculture were compromised  and 11 fatalities were suffered.  

Large waterway flows and debris build-up caused damage to bridges, including piers, abutments and scour protection. Road approaches to bridges, causeways and culverts collapsed or were washed away and road pavement stability was affected in a number of locations. The major damage to the transport sector was to the Efate Ring Road. The 120 km sealed two-way road, provides transport services to the rural population (about 29,150 people) around Efate Island and connects them to the capital, Port Vila, with an urban population of 55,525. It is the only road link servicing the rural population of Efate.

This disaster caused Vanuatu’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth to contract to 0.9 per cent in 2015, down from 2.3 per cent in 2014 . TC Pam had a notable effect on tourism, with immediate and future bookings affected for up to 12 months.

On 25 August 2015, the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu (the government) requested the assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to assess the damage to roads and their structures on Efate. ADB provided this assistance by scoping the Project, confirming loan and grant funding availability and procuring a design and supervision consultant (DSC). Cardno Emerging Markets (Australia) Pty Ltd (Cardno) was appointed as the DSC and commenced services on 6 July 2016.

Nineteen (19) sites were identified in the scope of work in the Project Administration Manual (PAM). During the inception phase of the Project, this was expanded to 20, including eight bridges, nine culverts, two road sections and one landslide. 

Progress to date

The feasibility study was completed in November 2016

The detailed design was completed in January 2017

The civil works tender was issued on 26 January 2017 and will close on 9 March 2017

The civil works are expected to start in mid-2017

Safeguards and community participation

A semi-annual safeguards monitoring report was prepared in January 2017, to document the monitoring activities of the previous six months. The report outlines the policy and legislative framework for the Project, the safeguards monitoring activities undertaken, the outcomes of the monitoring, including nonconformances and how these have been addressed, and any conclusions and recommendations for the future.

All works will be designed and implemented using the “build back better” (BBB) concept, and will strengthen the climate and disaster resilience of roads and bridges. The project's Community Consultation Plan describes the purpose, method and outputs of the project. A social safeguards due deligence report was produced, as well as two initial environmental examination reports - one for the Western side of Efate and one for the Eastern side.