This report relates to the financial grant of $3,325 from LifeNets Australia as per the application made by Derek Lewis on 18 September 2017. The grant was to fund the construction of a timber shelter with a tarpaulin roof and also to purchase a new 3,000 litre water tank for ongoing use by the local community.
I’m pleased to report that the project was completed as per the application. All funds were utilised. A generator, other tools and lights etc. were funded via donations from a United Church of God congregation in South East Queensland.
The shelter, 12 metres by 7 metres was erected over four days. Brian Marshall from Burpengary in Queensland led the building initiative and was well supported by Lloyd Bourke of Townsville. Some local Vanuatuans from the local community assisted them.
The water tank is a perfect size for group meetings. With the nearest water accessible via a steep decline and a 150 metre walk, the tank will be a wonderful ongoing blessing to the community in the area.
The shelter is very functional and provides enough room for 75 people, perhaps a few more. It was built on a rural property held via a long term lease by a local community leader, namely John Wesley. The property is located some 40 minute drive north-west of Port Villa, Efate. The local area there is referred to as the “Teouma Bush”. The size of the property is estimated to be about 5 hectares.
It’s a timber frame structure with solid concrete foundations built to take a tarpaulin roof which can be removed before large tropical storms/cyclones, which are common there.
The structure is very much fit for purpose and would likely survive a large storm, category 1 or 2 or even perhaps a category 3 cyclone. It was built with the intention to last 10 years plus and considering the construction this would seem to be a reasonable expectation. It may or may not survive a category 4 or 5 cyclone, however this was not part of the brief/plan. Note that in that particular community, during a cyclone, it would likely be the last structure to blow down as the housing there is much more flimsy.
It should be noted that Brian very clearly articulated to the community leaders (John Wesley and Nicky Tabi – John’s eldest son) that a more permanent roof should not be fixed to the structure as it was not built to accommodate a permanent roof but only a tarpaulin roof (the point being that it’s not intended to be used as a place of refuge during a cyclone). It could however be adapted relatively easily to accommodate a permanent roof and this may or may not be added later.
It’s very much a case of ‘well done’ Brian and Lloyd! This was a job with many challenges, in a remote location, in a foreign land and they got it done right on time and to a high standard! The site is now very suitable for ongoing community use.
The Vanuatuan community is very thankful for the generous assistance from LifeNets Australia and I would like to thank the LifeNets Management Committee on their behalf.
It’s very much a case of ‘well done’ Brian and Lloyd! This was a job with many challenges, in a remote location, in a foreign land and they got it done right on time and to a high standard!