10 Feb 2015

Vanuatu chief praised for sharing land

4:32 pm on 10 February 2015

A chief in Vanuatu's main island of Efate has been praised for opening up his traditional lands to people moving from the capital, Port Vila.

The President of Shefa Province, Edward George, says the paramount chief Kalpoilep has agreed to allow custom land to be used by families from other provinces to live and work on, so the population of Port Vila can be properly fed.

Mr George says the alternative would have been a severe shortage of vegetables at the market in Port Vila.

Chief Kalpoilep is the only landowner who uses Efate Island's traditional land lease system called 'nasautonga' to allocate land to newcomers to Port Vila.

The system allows occupants of the land to offer fresh produce and meats once a year to thank him for his generosity.