Asanvari Village builds back better

The installation of spouting, some sand and tanks were the icing on the cake of Rotary District 9910’s global grant project in Asanvari Village, Maewo Island, Vanuatu, which was officially opened on February 15, 2021.

Potable water supply has always been a challenge, and Cyclone Harold in February 2020 destroyed the basic water catchment along with most structures in the villages. Collecting rainwater provides all the water supply for the village.

The focus of the project was to restore the community’s ability to harvest and store potable water. The newly constructed water and sanitation catchment structure will provide the school with clean water, while the area below the roof catchment will provide two classroom areas. The structure is designed to withstand extreme winds and will provide a long-term safe shelter for the village and Asanvari Primary School.

The new toilet facilities will be beneficial not only for the existing 165 pikininis to Year 7 students coming from Asanvari and surrounding villages, but also for any influx of school-aged evacuees coming from nearby Islands as a result of severe cyclone damage in the future. In addition, with the improved hygiene conditions and water storage, more tourists will be drawn to visit this remote area’s attractions.

From start to finish, the project only took eight weeks, plus the time involved in planning.

“We gratefully acknowledge those who have contributed to this successful Rotary project in Vanuatu,” said Rotary District 9910 Governor, Elaine Mead.

“Thank you to PDG Lindsay Ford for his foresight and coordination, the workers from the village, partners Steph Neilson, Reynolds Boeson and Stuart Friend from the SHaRM Foundation, our host partner the Rotary Club of Santo and international partner the Rotary Club of Norfolk Island, project funders the Rotary Club of Onehunga One Tree Hill, NZ, District 9600 in Australia, the Harold Thomas Trust, and The Rotary Foundation. Huge thanks to the Vanuatu Ministry of Education & Training for support with freight and to Cyrille Mainguy Engineers for his great plans and advice, Pacific Petroleum, Alain Lew from PVH and Top Signs.

“This was another excellent result for the people of South Maewo.”