16 Aug 2010

Vanuatu Government praised for taking some action over slums

1:58 pm on 16 August 2010

Community groups have welcomed the Vanuatu Government's announcement that it's in talks with donors about relocating squatter settlements in Port Vila to the suburbs.

Tens of thousands of people are estimated to be living in settlements in the capital, where access to fresh water and adequate shelter is a growing problem.

The CEO of the community group One Small Bag, Michael Taurakoto, says relocating that many people would be a challenge, and is likely to be some years off.

But he says at least the Government has begun to confront the issue of squatter settlements.

"As the situation stands now, where nothing's being done, I mean any kind of initiative that could be introduced would be an improvement, because right now, the settlement that is there, people are continuing to come in, the population is growing, and it's just getting more and more serious."

Michael Taurakoto says he hopes the Government will look at improving sanitation and providing clean drinking water, while they're considering the relocation scheme.