2 May 2011

New Zealand delivers practical help to Santo in Vanuatu

8:14 am on 2 May 2011

A second plane-load of engineers, mechanics and other Defence Force troops have arrived in Vanuatu as work continues on a UN-led aid mission around the Pacific.

New Zealand forces are delivering US$219,000 worth of New Zealand aid as part of Pacific Partnerships to the island of Santo.

Sally Round reports from the coastal village of Matantas.

"The spouting's been fixed and a new roof constructed over the leaking village kindergarten. There's also more clean water now, guttering and water storage has been improved. But the new toilet for visitors to an out of the way memorial has raised some eyebrows in a place lacking access to even the most basic medical care. The villagers earn cash here by eco tourism and they've banned logging in favour of conservation. They are grateful for the help they've received from the New Zealand forces, but still on their wishlist: a medical aid post to solve the long and expensive journey to hospital in town"