The French Embassy and the French Navy ship “La Moqueuse” in mission on TAFEA Province [fr]
From February 11th to 14th 2014, the French Embassy and the French Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC) have jointly led a humanitarian operation for TAFEA Province. The French patrol boat “La Moqueuse” has loaded freight for the communities of the islands of Erromango and Tanna.
The FANC and the French Embassy have joined their efforts once again to facilitate the implementation of the development micro-projects funded through the Social Funds of Development (FSD). “La Moqueuse”, commanded by the Lieutenant François Garreau, has loaded 10 water tanks (4 of 6000L and 6 of 1100L), around fifty iron sheets, 3,5 tons of cement and several boxes of books. All these material are intended for nine communities in Erromango and two schools in Tanna.
Once Erromango reached, some La Moqueuse crew and a representative from the French Embassy went to Cook’s Bay for the opening of the library of the Ilvu Alam primary school, funded by the French Embassy. The opening has been made in presence of the PEO, Mr. Nathanel Nako, the Provnicial Counsellor for Erromango, Mr Joe Nare and the headmaster of the school, Mr Calixto Tanimo.
Most of the material has been unloaded in Potnarvin, thanks to a very active participation of the local community. The French Embassy funded a project led by the North Area Secretary, Mr Rémy Nambil, to install 8 water tanks for 9 remote communities. The handover ceremony was the opportunity for all to remind the close links which already exist between France and Erromango, through the presence of a French company near Ipota in the sixties. Both parts expressed their strong will to see these links strengthened in the future.
The rest of the material has been unloaded in Tanna, in Waisisi village. Two water tanks are intended for the schools of Lapangtaua and Latanpunga. The ceremony of handover took place in presence of the new Secretary General, Mr Reynold Surmat, the Aid Counssellor of the French Embassy, Mr Philippe Liège, the Commandant and his crew of La Moqueuse, the pupils of the two schools, the chiefs and the people of White Sand. In his speech, the president of the chief council of the area, Mr Kipson Yanmaimai, reminded that the French Navy and White Sand have already a common history. Indeed it was the intervention of the French Navy boat “Kersaint”, in 1912 that let the inhabitants to preserve their customs against the Presbyterian missionaries. More than one century later, the France representatives came to accompany White Sand and Tafea province in their development into a modern world.
These different visits have reinforced the existing partnerships and cooperation between the French Embassy, the FANC, the provincial authorities, the island of Erromango and the area of White Sand. Everyone was delighted by the warm welcome gave to everybody, and it is with regrets that the crew of La Moquese had to leave after drinking the traditional shell of kava.