Palm Project Newsletter 2019

Jack Kalangis

First we would like to follow up on Jack Kalangis:

Jack Kalangis was taken with his mother from their village of Farun, South Malakula June 2018 by NZCHET medical officer Sally Peet. Jack had been seen by a doctor back in 2016 and his medical status had been reported to the Vanuatu National Hospital and also ‘Children First Foundation’ Australia. NZCHET already had a child in the care of CFF, so they asked for our help in extracting Jack and getting him to Melbourne. Once this first part of the mission was achieved, CFF would hopefully be able to have the tumor on his face examined and removed. This was to be undertaken by the doctors from The Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Once Jack arrived at ‘Children First Foundation Farm’ he was immediately seen by doctors who confirmed that the tumor was running through his brain and down his spinal column. First they had to stretch his cranium to release the pressure from the size of the tumor and wait till there was room to operate. The operation took 16 hours with two teams of doctors. The photo on the right is of Jack directly after surgery.

After Just a few days Jack was running around the CFF farm and everyone could breathe again. Such a miracle and the surgeons said if he had been left in the village any longer he would certainly have died. NZCHET will be in Vanuatu May 2020 and we will visit Jack at his village where we will take photo and check on his progress.

Solar Power for Sangalai Primary School.

Charles from Savvy Solar in Port Vila was commissioned by NZCHET to install solar power to the Sangalai Primary School at Uluveu. It was decided to change the batteries at the desal plant and because only three of the batteries were decommissioned we could give the primary school 24volt power. Until now the primary school has had no power at all so their students are unable to study after dark. If they want to use the printer, they have to borrow the community generator and find fuel to run it, economical and environmentally unsustainable and total against NZCHET policies and ethics to use fossil fuels.

Solar panels, solar controller and an inverter was purchased so now the primary school can use their printer, charge their computers and study at night all without using fossil fuels. Solar power will be installed in the secondary school next year. The Vanuatu Government offers a subsidy for community based solar projects now which will encourage schools to move forward to solar energy.

 

Uluveu Nuwai Pavilion Financially Independent.

This year we saw the Uluveu Nuwai Pavilion, become financially independent with the installation of a block ice maker, Tamutom from Turkey. This machine makes 12 x 5kg blocks of ice in 4 hours.

A solar powered freezer has also been installed, once filled with ice this freezer uses very little power so is able to be running continually maintaining block ice ready for sale.

The Uluveu Nuwai Pavilion is generating 30,000 vatu every two weeks, this is put in the bank for maintenance and the two locals who run the ice business receive wages. The water maker is used when necessary and the showers are still being used by the school. The most useful outcome of the ice business is now the local fishermen can get their catch to the Vanuatu Fisheries Department in Port Vila fresher, therefore getting a better price for their fish. The ice business has benefitted the whole community at Uluveu and helped to raise the standard of living. The local fishermen are now capable of a better catch because the ice will keep the fish fresher for longer. All the money paid for the ice goes directly back into their community owned Uluveu Nuwai Pavilion.

 

The Palm Project Soap Factory.

The palm project soap factory continues to produce beautiful soap and coconut oil for sale. At present they are working on the 4th order for Trade Aid in New Zealand.

We hope to add another size soap to our products next year, a smaller soap of 50gms which will lend itself to sales in the hospitality arena in Port Vila.

Further A Field

For many years now NZCHET has been approached by other villages as to the prospect of acquiring the same solar system as Uluveu. In May 2020 NZCHET will be meeting with another Council of Chief at Malakula to discuss the possibility of installing a power station to assist the people of this area. Our priority from the outset will be the ability for the power plant to financially sustain itself from the beginning and it will be discussed how this can be achieved by the community. The Uluveu Nuwai Pavilion was such an undertaking that it was not even considered at the outset how it would maintain itself but instead NZCHET would maintain the pavilion plant until the future became apparent. Ten years down the track we see it is important to discuss financial sustainability from the outset. We would be looking to build a 10kw power station with the capability to run an enterprise capable of sustaining the maintenance required. As we know all machinery requires maintenance and this can be achieved if there are funds to pay for it. Enterprise helps communities achieve a higher standard of living, health and education for their people. NZCHET policies confirm that a hand up is far better than a hand out. As we have seen at Uluveu, the community has hope of a better standard of living for its people. NZCHET would like to help other communities to achieve the same.