Update on Abwatuntora, Vanuatu Project
Abwatuntora, Vanuatu - Construction of a nakamal (traditional community hall) in exchange the villages are willing to extend an established marine reserve covering over 10 hectares as a no-take marine reserve for additional 10 years minimum at Abwatuntora, North Pentecost, Vanuatu.
Seacology’s Field Representative in Vanuatu, Kevin Tari, recently attended the opening ceremony of Seacology’s project in Abwatuntura, a small village on Pentecost Island in Vanuatu. The nakamal, or traditional community hall, is an important part of village life. The newly constructed building is brightly decorated both inside and out, and located on the edge of a hill with a spectacular view of nearby islands. The hall includes a full bathroom and kitchen, as well as a septic system.
The opening ceremony was a community celebration, with villagers as well as visitors, as well as several regional government officials, a local pastor, and the village chief. The attendees were entertained with traditional dances, singing, and a feast. Kevin was invited to make a speech on behalf of Seacology, and he and the chief jointly cut a ribbon to symbolize the official opening of the nakamal.
It is always gratifying to see the success of a project, and we at Seacology were especially touched by this kind message sent from the chiefs of Abwatuntora:
“On behalf of the people of Abwatuntora in Pentecost we sincerely say thank you very much to Seacology, the board of directors and donors for recognizing the much needed need of the people of Abwatuntora and for supporting our initiative with the marine conservation. This is a historical event for this community and is the first ever development of its kind to the people of Abwatuntora since independence. We will make good use of the nakamal we now call ‘Overview Nakamal.’ Because the facilities are of high standard that cannot be found anywhere here in north Pentecost, we will setup a housing committee to manage the running of the overview Nakamal as well as the Conservation project.
The people of Abwatuntora will work together to ensure our conservation continue to be respected because we have seen why our people are struggling and why we cannot enjoy the rich and abundant sea food we and our children today should be enjoying.
We value deeply your contribution and support to the people of this land and Vanuatu as a whole. May your organization prosper to help others more like us. May God bless Seacoology, board of directors, donors, staffs and field representatives around the world.”