VT7.3 million climate resilient road provides school boost

The reinforced concrete road to Matevulu College built to withstand extreme weather events

Students and teachers at Matevulu College on Santo are now connected to town with a safer, more reliable road.

More than 400 students saw their access washed away by extreme weather making the road to the college unpassable.

After cyclone rains damaged the existing road, the Public Works Department has now upgraded the road to Matevulu Junction delivering reliable all-weather access. Around 200 metres of reinforced concrete over very steep terrain will ensure that the road is resilient against future extreme weather events.

The VT7.3 million concreting project was delivered by a local contractor providing work for the local community. In alignment with the Public Roads Policy, the fibre-reinforced concrete is designed to last for 40 years with minimal maintenance and will withstand major rains. The works include an upgrade to the drainage structures and were delivered as part of the Vanuatu — Australia partnership’s response to Tropical Cyclone Harold.

In delivering the project, provincial Public Works Department employees also had the opportunity to improve and develop the engineering skills needed to deliver a reinforced concrete road upgrade.

Site inspector Dimitri Rowsy is really proud of the outcome.

“With support from Australia, we were able to upgrade this important road and I have learned a lot in the process,” he said.

“The new concrete pavement and drainage provide climate resilient access for the whole school community for many years to come.”

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