TANNA IS AN island full of independent endeavors. When Transparency International Vanuatu visited the island in February the air was immense with booming activities, small to medium scale businesses continue to increasingly operate throughout the township of Lenakel.
Construction work on the new tar seal roads had opt in a new vision for the future as folks begin to dream about the vast potentials waiting to be explored once the whole of Tanna becomes physically accessible.
Evidently, life after Cyclone Pam is indifferent, the same challenges continue to be faced; rough roads, unmaintained infrastructure, lack of information, and the lack of proper medical facilities. Despite these challenges the show of resilience by the people continue to downcast the reality of the situation.
And to see a school principal smile while several of his classrooms had no rooftops is a reminder that their hope for a better tomorrow is what faithfully keeps the classroom doors open.
Transparency International Vanuatu, in association with the Right To Information Unit, had planned this RTI toksave trip to Tanna immediately after doing the same thing on the island of Santo in November of last year.
The TIV Team landed on Tanna on the 21st of February and stayed over at Lenakel for two days before traveling to Imaki Village in south Tanna to conduct the RTI awareness there. The road there is rough, only the toughest vehicles with experienced drivers can get there.
The community of Imaki lies above on a plateau looking out to sea, out against the horizon the islands of Futuna, Aniwa and Anietyum can be seen on a clear day. The village accommodates a Francophone primary school and a secondary school called College D’Imaki, and the people there are largely from the catholic denomination.
When the team from Transparency International Vanuatu arrived there the village was still in mourning, three deaths had occurred in the past week, one involving a young woman who had unfortunately died at sea when gathering seaweed while gale force winds from TC Winston stormed from the east.
The RTI awareness at Imaki gathered students from both the Primary and the Secondary classes. After the awareness copies of the Vanuatu Constitution booklets were donated to the school’s library.
Nancy Feimanga is a women leader is the community, she also attended the Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV) Right to Information Awareness session,, she says that apart from assisting women in the community “I keep them updated on matters that may affect their livelihoods the RTI policy is one of them.” (Source Info: Pacific Leadership Program)
Overall, the teachers at Imaki expressed their support for the Right To Information Bill, “since we are living in a very isolated part of the island this new bill would definitely support the community given that easy access to information will be legalized,” a secondary school teacher said.
WATCH: Right To Information Tour – Tanna Island.
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