21 Jul 2008

Vanuatu goverment appoints municipal council for Tanna's Lenakel

5:44 am on 21 July 2008

The decision by Vanuatu's government to upgrade Lenakel to a municipal town is being seen as recognition of Tanna island's growing commercial power.

Lenakel has been declared the third municipal town in the country and the Minister of Internal Affairs, Joe Natuman, has now appointed the town's first ever municipal council.

The town is the commercial hub of Tanna, which is the most populated island in Tafea province, with a population of about 20-thousand.

Our correspondent, Len Garae, says Lenakel is also known as Blackman Town because of the successful policy of allowing only locals to set up businesses or invest there.

"That reflects the power of the money that's running in the town so I believe that the reason why the government has felt confident enough to make Lenakel the third municipal town in the country is because of its impact on the national economy, also the people down there are able to run their own businesses without help from people from outside or ex-patriates."