The ‘Re-Building of Tanna Island’ project is a multi-partner project that aims to build 15 cyclone-proof community structures on the island of Tanna, Vanuatu. The project is a collaboration between the Tafea Provincial Government, the Tasol Land Management Committee, Nevhouse, Green NRG Co and Griffith University. The houses are designed to withstand category 5 cyclones, and include a mini-power system developed by Green NRG Co that runs on solar energy. This enables the communities to have a safe house during the cyclones but also increases their access to energy and lighting. The community houses can also be used for different community activities, and provide a space where the community members can come together to discuss issues concerning their communities. The structures will function as health clinics, classrooms, and community houses.
While the partners are delivering the much needed infrastructure, the tribes’ approach is also contributing to the re-arrangements of the governance system using traditional values and practices to promote democratic ideals and human rights principles for the inclusion of all groups in decision-making. This aims to also foster better dialogue around climate injustices and removal of barriers that hinder people from enjoying their rights.
Griffith University has been asked to provide independent monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of the project over the next three years, with particular attention to issues such as social change, use and access of community houses, use of energy, and the functionality of the renewable energy mini-power systems. The aim of the M&E will be to provide lessons learned for future projects that aim to work with local stakeholders, such as remote tribes, and local level of government in Vanuatu, and the array of constraints and opportunities in similar adaptation projects to include principles of climate justice.