Elianeth John, Women’s representation presenting the petition to MP Ati

Women, youth and people living with a disability at Pepsi area in Luganville have petitioned a Member of Parliament for Luganville, Marc Ati, to build a community hall for the women, improve the drainage system and provide a grant to support people with special needs.

Elianeth John, presented the women’s petition to MP Athy who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday this week.

“We would like to present to you this morning our petition for you to build a community hall for the women at the green space at Pepsi. I’m speaking on behalf of all the women at Pepsi and Sarakata because many of these women have not been able to attend skills trainings anywhere,” she told the MP.

“We see that this is a major need for many women and young people here who have dropped out of school. This community hall will help provide a venue for our women and young people to attend skills trainings in different fields so they could do something that will help improve their lives.

“It will help keep our young men from criminal activities. The hall will allow us to help train these young people so they could support their families so we all can maintain a good community to change the profile of Pepsi as the leading community in Luganville Town with high crime rates.”

A Youth Representative for the area, Andrew Faru, also requested MP Athy to ensure the two roads at the end of Pepsi area be tar sealed.

“One road begins from where the Tanna people resides at Pepsi that leads to Tangara and the other one begins at the river at Pepsi and leads to Dark Corner,” he said.

“Our second request is that we need a proper drainage system for the tar seal road so flood water during heavy rain will not damage the new tar seal road.”

Faru acknowledged MP Ati for addressing the Pepsi road upgrade to tar seal.

Manager of the Public Works Department (PWD) in Santo, Henry Wells, said the launching of the Pepsi road upgrade to tar seal on Wednesday, will first cover 800 meters of the road. The Department will then focus on upgrading the drainage system.

Chairman of the People Living with a Disability Association at Pepsi, Sarakata and Solway Area, Allan, also requested MP Ati to negotiate for the tar seal of the road at Pepsi Four to the Solway Area.

He said more than 80 people living with disability are residing at Pepsi, Solway and Sarakata areas in Luganville. Allan said many of these people with special needs are residing at the end of the roads at Pepsi up in the bush and needed accessible roads.

“Our disable people have the same right as everyone else to use a better road,” he said.

He also petitioned Ati for a grant to support the activities for people with disability at Pepsi Area.

PWD Director, Malcolm Tarileo, said the Department has an inclusive policy, which includes every person, to ensure no one is left behind.