Port Vila, 30th June, 2017 – A new community-based infrastructure project was launched at Ohlen Nabanga on 30th June by a delegation including the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Ralph Regenvanu, the Australian High Commissioner, Her Excellency Jenny Da Rin, the Deputy Lady Mayor of Port Vila Ms Leimara Malachi, as well as Nancy Wells from the Asian Development Bank.

Minister of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Jotham Napat signed a contract with Vila Distribution Hardware recently as the sole supplier of tools and materials for the construction of a community hall with sanitation facilities at Ohlen Nabanga.  

Ohlen Nabanga is one of seven settlement communities identified by the Port Vila Urban Development Project (PVUDP) to receive new or improved sanitation facilities as part of the project’s objective to improve the sanitation and hygiene of urban and peri-urban communities.

The project is funded by the Governments of Vanuatu and Australia and through a loan by the Asian Development Bank.  PVUDP will provide all the tools and materials necessary for the community themselves to construct the facility.  

Minister for Lands Mr Regenvanu who was instrumental in the transfer of two land titles for the sanitation facility to be built on, spoke highly of the improvements now happening within the community of Ohlen Nabanga.

“This is a unique project which the government fully supports. We will look with keen interest how it is implemented. If this works out to be a success, the government will definitely look to replicate it elsewhere. We thank our development partners for recognizing the importance of setting up such a community facility here,” he said. 

The project will provide training and supervision on the proper construction of improved sanitation facilities.  At the completion of the project Ohlen Nabanga will have the tools and knowledge to continue to construct improved sanitation infrastructure and to improve the overall sanitation and hygiene of the community.

“The Ohlen Nabanga sanitation facility forms part of Australia’s largest single investment in Vanuatu, funded through a $31 million grant for infrastructure through PVUDP. Once completed, the sanitation facility will improve the health and living conditions of the Ohlen Nabanga community,” said Jenny Da Rin, Australian High Commissioner. 

In her remarks, Asian Development Bank representative in Vanuatu Nancy Well was equally supportive.

“Community projects such as this, go a long way to changing the lives of women and children. The bank is fully supportive and we certainly look forward to coming back after six months to cut the ribbon together,” she said.

The project has been made possible through the support of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, which purchased two blocks for Ohlen Nabanga as public green space.  The facility will be constructed on the public green space titles.  Ohlen Nabanga has identified their need for improved community toilets as well as a community hall, which can serve as a study hall for students, a meeting place for leaders and can be rented out as a conference facility to generate income for the community.  Sanitation facilities will include a universally accessible toilet and shower as well as gender segregated toilets with hand basins and diaper change table.  The structure will provide water catchment to a 10,000 litre water tank.