Farming recovers in Vanuatu

Acting Director for Agriculture, Mark Vurobaravu said this week, communities that were destroyed heavily by the natural disaster are back to their subsistence life.

Vurobaravu said people have restocked seeds and planting materials of food crops and re-built their gardens. 

They planted planting materials that were destroyed, he said, and they did that soon after the event, well before they dried up.

However he also revealed that the current El Nino has disturbed a lot of work put into the recovery initiatives.

Former Vanuatu PM laments broken-down World Bank deal on airports

Air New Zealand has announced it will stop flying to Vanuatu because of concerns over the safety of the runway, prompting Qantas to follow suit, amid expectations of a Virgin Australia announcement.

Joe Natuman, who was ousted as prime minister by Sato Kilman last year, says Mr Kilman scrapped his deal with the World Bank in favour of a Shanghai-based consortium that hasn't eventuated.

Air Niugini to review Vanuatu flight services

This is due to deteriorating conditions of that country’s runway.

General Manager, Market Dominic Kaumi told LOOP PNG the airline management will meet today to make a decision on the Airline’s weekly service to Port Vila, Vanuatu.

Last week, Qantas suspended their codeshare with Air Vanuatu effectively immediately due to concerns about the country’s international runway at the Bauerfield International Airport..

Air New Zealand has also suspended all flights to Vanuatu.

Surprising early results in Vanuatu election

Unofficial results for the smaller constituencies were the first to come in last night, and suggest there will be plenty of new faces in parliament.

Jamie Tahana reports from Port Vila.

Polls closed at 4:30pm local time yesterday, and counting began around the country soon after.

The snap election was called after the President dissolved parliament last month following the conviction of 15 MPs for corruption.

The first unofficial results that began to trickle in late last night suggest there will be a large turnover.

Rains bring respite to drought hit Vanuatu

However the operations manager of the National Disaster Management Office says despite receiving positive reports from some of the areas most affected by months of drought his office remains vigilant and will be monitoring the situation as the rains cease.

Peter Korisa says he feels that some communities will have benefited more than others from the short period of heavy rain.

Drought plagues Vanuatu people

The El Nino drought has become a regional challenge with negative effects on subsistence livelihood, says Antoine Ravo, a senior agriculture officer with the Vanuatu Department of Agriculture. 

Ravo said agricultural food production has declined in villages as people cannot tend to their gardens due to lack of rainfall in the last several months. 

Digicel celebrates family this Christmas

Digicel is once again bringing families and the Pacific’s greatest musical talent together with an upbeat new version of their hit song ‘We Are Family’. This new rendition is a cheerful Pacific Christmas music collaboration, available to all Digicel customers across the company’s six Pacific countries. 

Experts predict continuing dry for much of the Pacific

This comes after up to six months of well below normal rainfall had been received.

The forecast from New Zealand's NIWA and the Pacific Islands Meteorological Services says in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, after three months of very dry conditions, below normal rainfall can be expected through to the end of the year.

Commonwealth Secretariat deputy Secretary General visits MSG Secretariat

His visit was to discuss with the Vanuatu Government in preparations for the next CHOGM meeting scheduled for 2017.

Deodat Maharaj and his Economic Advisor, Harshen Nyambe met the Director General of the MSG Secretariat, Peter Forau and the Deputy Director General, Molean Kilepak and Secretariat Staff on Thursday 17 September 2015.

Maharaj said his visit to Vanuatu and to the MSG Secretariat is part of his visit to Small Island States in the Pacific who are also members of the Commonwealth group of nations.

BSP remain committed to acquire Westpac bank in Solomon Islands

Bank of South Pacific (BSP) is working closely with the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) to obtain the necessary approvals and discussions with the CBSI have been positive and have well-progressed.

This was revealed in a statement by BSP Group chairman Kostas Constantinou.

He says BSP is confident for a positive conclusion of the new application that is before the CBSI to allow the transaction to proceed shortly thereafter.