A vacant lot, a fence…and, hold your breath…a sign of good news
So many fences have recently been erected around so many pieces of land that looked as if they should’ve been green spaces for public use, the reaction, when a long term Port Vila resident called to say chain link has appeared around a plot of land in Nambatu used by generations of local people as a recreational area, was a collective, “Oh no”, not another one gone!”
Naturally, photos were called for. While pics of the fence and the beautiful old trees were being duly snapped one day this week passers by, as they do, offered bits of information.
One lady thought that the fence might be to stop stronghed drunks from making rabis fason long naet in this residential area. A young man’s thoughts coincided with the writer’s that perhaps greedy waet men were somehow involved… there was, after all at the other end of the land, a sign pinned to a tree and I reckon both of us, at that stage, would’ve bet London to a brick that it was a For Sale sign.
But no! When we walked around to look at it we found that the sign is a Pablik Notis which says: “I gat wan projek blong mekem gud park ia we bae I kam wan ples blong ol famili I save piknik mo spel. Plis yu rispektem ol wok we I stap gohed naoia aotsaed mo insaed long eria. Park bae I save open bakagen lo publik taem wok I finis I no long taem. Tankyu tumas long koperesen blong yufala.”
A visit to the Lands Department confirms that the title for this piece of land has been registered to the Port Vila Municipal Council since July 2000 when a 75-year Special Lease was created for it.
PVMC confirms that the fence has been erected to ensure that the park is managed properly for the benefit of the people of Port Vila enabling them to enjoy the green, shady place for barbeques, picnics and general recreation. The artist’s impression of the park as it will be once the ‘renovation’ works are complete shows the large trees - their interesting root structures possibly a legacy of cyclone “Uma” in 1987 – being retained alongside play areas for children. The fence, although aesthetically not so wonderful just now, given time will no doubt have its visually hard edges softened by a hibiscus hedge or cover-up flowering vines of some kind, and will ensure that parents can relax knowing the kids are safe from passing traffic.
PVMC says that this park is just the start of a process of consolidating the existing green spaces available within Port Vila and making more available for residents to enjoy.
This really is good news!