Rebuilding Of Vanuatu’s Iconic Chiefs Nakamal Proceeding Well

Traditional meeting house in Port Vila was destroyed in Cyclone Pam

By Jonas Cullwick

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, July 8, 2016) – The office of Malvatumauri national council of chiefs says it is happy with the progress on the reconstruction of the Chiefs Nakamal in Port Vila.

The work began in May- 14 months after Severe Tropical Cyclone Pam destroyed the building in March 2015.

The office of Malvatumauri expects the reconstruction work to be completed by the end of December this year.

It will cost over Vt25 million [US$231,000] with much of the expenses expected to be on transportation of building materials from the islands.

Malvatumauri is engaging the contribution of the chiefs and their people in some of the islands in the provinces with local building materials and the manpower support from those living in Port Vila.

Around 90% of the building materials from the islands have been completed and next week 15,000 sticks of sago palm (natangura) leaves will start arriving from Santo, Malo, Ambae, Ambrym and Malekula, ropes for tying the leaves and part of the wooden structure and bamboos.

4,000 natangura leaves are coming from Santo, 3,000 from Malekula, 2,000 from Malo, 2,000 from Ambae and the rest from other islands. 300 bamboo sticks are ready on West Ambae for shipment with more bamboos from other islands.

Wood for posts and the roof structure are supplied by the communities of Efate organized by the island’s Vaturisu council of chiefs and trucks from Ifira Trustees Limited are being used to transport the logs to the construction site.

Currently, the Office of Malvatumauri engages six men who are working on removing the damaged natangura leaves and strengthening a roof structure while wood carvers are doing carving on the main posts.

Reconstruction work will intensify after the building materials arrive from the islands in the north and the Office of Malvatumauri will need the help of teams of workers from islanders living in Port Vila to contribute their time and skill to the work.

This contribution from the islanders in Port Vila was sought by Malvatumauri in April with two pigs it gave to each of the provinces.

“If your chief or your brother or fellow islander ate a piece of the pigs and drank some kava, then that is for everyone on the island or the province,” the Office of Malvatumairi explains.

On that note, Malvatumairi says people from all six provinces living in Port Vila should start listening out for appeals for people to assist in the reconstruction of the Chiefs Nakamal.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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