Chiefs Nakamal In Vanuatu Capital To Be Demolished

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Port Vila meeting house badly damaged by Cyclone Pam

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 12, 2016) – The nakamal, or meeting house, of Vanuatu's Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs in Port Vila is being demolished.

This follows custom ceremonies carried out to conform with traditional expectation, involving representatives of all members of the custom's supreme body from throughout the country.

The nakamal was built in 1989 and has been the focal point of the Malvatamauri's functions, traditional operations and decision-making.

However Cyclone Pam destroyed part of its thatched roof last year, prompting the National Council of Chiefs to decide to opt for thorough repairs.

The government has allocated $US 46,000 from the Recovery Fund for its demolition and reconstruction.

The prime minister Charlot Salwai was among guests who witnessed the initial act of demolition when part of the bamboo wall was torn down last Friday.

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