TANNA, VANUATU (21 February 2020) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) joined the Government of Vanuatu in a commissioning ceremony today to open several junior secondary schools that were built back better following damage by Cyclone Pam in 2015.
Vanuatu’s Minister of Education and Training Jean-Pierre Nirua led the official opening ceremonies for the schools. Senior Country Coordination Officer from ADB’s Vanuatu Pacific Country Office Nancy Wells, Japan’s Ambassador to Vanuatu Harumi Katsumata, and the project team joined local communities in officially opening the Imaki, Ienaula, and Kwataparen schools.
The Cyclone Pam School Reconstruction Project built 57 new buildings and refurbished 33 existing ones—a total of 90 buildings, which were built back better with climate resilient features. These structures are already helping 4 communities in Tanna, providing quality education to residents, especially children.
“The schools that were rebuilt under the project will be safer and will provide a cleaner learning environment for students,” said Ms. Wells. “The schools have climate resilient features, including dormitories which can be converted into community shelters during a disaster.”
The four schools targeted by the project were rebuilt and upgraded with facilities such as emergency power back-up and communications systems, as well as tanks for storing rainwater.
Capacity building was a key component of the project through which local laborers had the opportunity to build their skills in concreting, carpentry, and painting.
The Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, a financing facility provided by the Government of Japan, provided a $5 million grant for the project.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.