COOK ISLANDS, Muri Lagoon, Rarotonga - January 2010
Renovation and upgrading of the village meeting house and re-roofing of the health clinic in Muri Village in exchange for the establishment of a 413-acre conservation area for a duration of 10 years
Situated on the southern side of Rarotonga, Muri is a popular holiday resort; the beach and lagoon are used extensively by both visitors and Cook Islanders for recreation. The community has requested assistance in upgrading their meeting house to a multi-purpose standard (cyclone evacuation center, cultural arts center, gymnasium, health care, etc.). Seacology will help fund the renovating and upgrading of the village meeting house and health clinic; in exchange, the Muri community will declare 413 acres of the lagoon and surrounding area as a protected area for a duration of 10 years. With the exception of food fish for community use only, a prohibition on harvesting all coral, marine biodiversity, marine mammals, bird and mammals that inhabit the islet will be enforced; sand mining of the beach will also be prohibited.
UPDATE June 2010 - As of June 2010 field representative Allan Tuara reports that the old toilets/bathrooms in the main hall have been demolished and new toilets/bathrooms to the rear side of the hall have been framed and lined with all water piping done. The ceiling to the main hall area has been reframed and partly lined and is awaiting completion of the wiring. Once the new wiring is installed then the ceiling in the main hall can be finished and the main hall painted. 60% of the interior and 95% of the exterior walls have been painted with new primer/sealer and are ready for new paint to be applied.
UPDATE August 2010 - Field representative Allan Tuara reports that the center was officially opened on August 14, 2010 with over 100 people in attendance. The water purifying unit attached to the outside of the center is also now fully functional and clean water is readily available to the community free of charge.
UPDATE January 2011 - The main building has been used for community workshops and other village activities. The clinic is being fully utilized by nurses from the Ministry of Health. A volunteer caretaker is looking after both buildings as well as the water purifier. According to Allan Tuara, the community sends their appreciation to Seacology for the tremendous help in bringing these two centers back to what they used to be.