The Wawan water supply project is back up and running after being suspended in wake of the devastating cyclone Pam. Life is starting to return to normal in Vanuatu 12 months after Pam made landfall. Although, there are still wrecks to be removed, runways to be repaired and coconuts to re-grow.
New Update: Blog 3 The materials have arrived!
With the arrival of our materials last week we have begun construction on two project sites. The villagers and myself got stuck right into digging foundations, cutting box framework and mixing/pouring cement by hand.
If you want a house in remote Vanuatu you pretty much need to build it yourself. Almost all timber is milled on island using a chainsaw, walls are made from woven bamboo and roofs are made from layered palm leaf. As a result the locals have a very good skill set when it comes to construction techniques and methodology.
Hopefully we will complete the foundations this week and move onto framework next week. Stay tuned!
Blog 1: Great News!
I am currently in the process of procuring materials, relocating to Ambrym and learning to speak Bislama! Since arriving here I have had some time to adjust to island life and learn a thing or two. A couple things you notice when you arrive 1. Nothing will happen on schedule and 2. Your walking too fast… way too fast. So to adapt, when someone gives you a date/time for something just automatically expect it to take twice as long. And to avoid looking like a werido start walking slow….. at least half the pace of an average Aucklander down Queen Street.
I recently had some time to check out a climate change adaptation pilot project on Pele island (1.5 hours North of Port Vila). This demonstration pilot project was delivered with the aim of supplying the community with a complete set of humanities aid (food supply, tourism infrastructure, mains power, rain water collection and storage) in order to raise living standards and adapt to climate change. Obviously this project has many parallels with our own so I was keen on seeing how things were going.
Although not cyclone proof, local materials are used extensively in Vanuatu. They are abundant, cheap and beautiful!
A couple different methods for storing rain water: A below surface retention tank (concrete lined with top covering) and a 10,000L poly tank with first flush system.
I later learn that the pipeline connecting storage tanks to communal water supply access points is blocked so parts of the pipeline are to be excavated. It seems that the original design did not factor in medium to course grain sediment filtration.
Also on Pele I came across this enclosed high egg production chicken run with between 15-20 red shaver chickens. Having access to these high producing breeds seems to be a rarity here in Vanuatu.
The effect of vastly improved infrastructure and good marketing has given the community on Pele a distinct advantage in the tourism trade. School groups and independent travels come here seeking the tranquility and connection to nature that village life provides.
( My Local bungalow owner, fisherman, water taxi driver and tourist guide Sam)
I am back in Pango Village now but heading to North Ambrym tomorrow. Keep in touch for updates, Ale!