Wilson’s Word

oil on roadPHIL Meh has raised the ridiculous issue of residents spraying used motor oil on Devils Point Road (pictured right) to avoid dust in their property. He explained that this is a very bad thing to do because used motor oil is a very high pollutant hydrocarbon which is going slowly through the ground and will contaminate the aquifer and also the sea, and for very long time. Plus, he added, the smell is unpleasant. This is not a new problem as they have been spraying on and off for years.

WW feels there is only one way to totally stop this practice and that is make the road a bitumen one. It is a major residential and tourism area and is deserving of a proper sealed road. It would not hurt property values in that area either.

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A LITTLE homespun observation from one of Vanuatu’s leading farmers that WW thought was worth passing on is that they have noticed the hornets are building their nests in the ground rather than the trees at present, which means we may be looking at a protracted dry spell. This in turn lessens the likelihood of a big cyclone season.

Vanuatu-sunsetThis was somewhat confirmed by the good people from the island of Lelepa in Havannah Harbour. Every New Year’s Eve they go to one end of the island to watch the sunset and from this they say they can judge what the next year will be like. While still telling people they must be well prepared for a cyclone season, they do not think it will be a very bad one in 2019. So now you know.

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NO wonder the fuel had run out in Tanna, with the Tannese cashed up after plenty of work in recent times and finally having a decent bitumen road to drive along. But now that much of the work has been completed maybe the need for fuel will decrease.

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Mungau DainTHE sudden and tragic death of aspiring Tannese actor Mungau Dain this week has raised a great deal of comment. Among those were overseas comments expressing surprise and dismay that he met his end from an untreated leg infection.

WW almost died from a tropical infection in 2015 and was saved through the professionalism of ProMedical and Dr King, who medivaced me out of here in an induced coma and WW woke up four days later in the Princess Alexandra Hospital ICU.

The point of this is to tell newcomers to Vanuatu and the tropics – and anyone really – to treat even the tiniest of cuts with the utmost seriousness. Clean and treat it immediately with some antibiotic cream or similar and cover it at once as the flies can be a major added problem. Please take this advice seriously from one who almost lost his life and act quickly, even if it is only for a paper cut.

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snake-oil-salesmanTHERE are a few glib tongued snake oil salesmen around at present, peddling everything around Vanuatu from a cure for nappy rash to one for impotent partners. They no longer go from door to door or set their stall up in a public place, they simply use a smart presentation on the Internet to get their message out there. The long term police response for this sort of malarkey is the perfect answer – if it seems too good to be true… then it probably is.

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passport-in-hand-285x363THE government has admitted that it has run out of passports, which is naturally a worry for people about to travel. They have said they will issue a travel document, but WW feels that may not be readily accepted in some countries.

How in a major government department there is not a system of re-ordering when the existing number drops to a certain level defies logic. But then logic has a habit of going missing regularly in a number of government departments.

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THE future of the unopened Mr Price two-site operation remains unclear because, although the government has just said it has finished its investigation, nothing has really been released about any future operation. With the two principles facing a raft of serious mr-pricecharges, it seems likely that this venture will not open unless taken over by another party. In the case of the store that was planned to open in a strip block opposite Traverso, that can easily become another enterprise. The series of small market-like stalls opposite Tana Russet Plaza was purpose built and is another kettle of fish entirely. It is starting look pretty scruffy and rubbish-strewn and in its present form has limited uses. But its future needs to be sorted before it looks like a bomb site.

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SPEAKING of rubbish, the picture below has been doing the rounds on FB, with lots of people saying we should have receptacles like this on beaches here… good idea perhaps, but as always the question would be: who would be responsible for emptying them?

fish_rubbish_bin

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WW admits that the road from the airport to where they have done major work starting at Manples needs serious repair. Even though re-surfacing the road would help as a medium term solution, there is no doubt the road will break up again without proper drainage being installed. How long it will last without drainage is the sticking point and this stretch of road has constant high traffic usage to and from the two airports.

The beautiful new roads through Vila have glaringly showed the value of doing a complete job with proper drainage, real footpaths together with gutters and kerbing. Maybe it would have been worth getting aid money to do the major work and thus avoid costly repetition. This is not a long stretch of road in all and the section from the top of the hill to Tagabe roundabout should be straightforward like the road itself. From the roundabout to the airport probably could be done without footpaths – just drainage and a new road surface.

Tagabe_5This section of road is in a far better state than the road from Tagabe roundabout to Mele Maat, but that horror longer stretch is not as sexy, because it does not have as many overseas dignitaries travelling over it as does the airport road naturally. Also more Vanuatu MPs are travelling by plane than by road out of Port Vila, so the Mele Maat road is out of sight and mind for most. As for CCECC doing it for free, well remember the old adage about there being no such thing as a free lunch. As it stands, CCECC is getting the bulk of the government’s construction work and no doubt wants to keep it that way.

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AND that’s Wilson’s Word quill-pen-wilsons_word

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