Environmental Health Unit
The Environmental Health Unit a small unit structure under the Waste Management, Environment and Health Division of the Port Vila City Council.
EHU works closely with the warden Unit of the PVCC, relevant stakeholders, NGOs, and Government Departments to enforce Acts, Regulation, Policies and By-Laws related to safeguarding and maintaining the health of the citizens of Port Vila and its environment.
Some of the functions of EHU are listed below:
- Food safety inspection
- Regulation of business Permits
- Responding to nuisance complaints
Why Food Safety inspection?
It is an annual activity to ensure that all food businesses are complying with the food Control Act 21 of 1993 [CAP 228], Food control Regulation Order No.37 of 2007 and the Port Vila Municipal Council (Food Hygiene Control) Bye-Law No.7 of 1992.
Inspections are carried out annually in food premises such as takeaways, Restaurants, Bakeries, Bars, etc.…
What are some of the items check during inspection?
- Food Safety Training Certificates
- Pest Control Certificates
- Food Safety Wears (Hair nets, aprons, hand gloves.)
- Cleanliness of Kitchen, Toilets, utensils, and handlers
- Expiry Dates, language on food products (must be either English, French or Bislama), and damaged/dented or contaminated food products.
- No animal keeps inside food premises
- Medical certificate from the Doctor
All business operating within the boundaries of Port Vila City must obtain a business permit from the Council.
Why do you need a business permit?
Because the Law requires you to have one.
- Control of food vendors Bye-Law No.1 of 2000
- Levying of a business Free Bye-Law No. 20 of 2000
- Required by the rates and taxes at the customs and island revenue in order to obtain a business license.
What is the purpose of business permit in relation to Food safety?
- To provide for the control of food vendors
- To prevent the occurrence of food borne diseases by conducting inspection to ensure safety and cleanliness.
When to get a business permit?
- New Business- Prior to operations
- Ongoing Business- January to March
Responding to nuisance complaints
The Public Health Act No.22 of 1994  defines nuisance as ‘’any act, omission or thing which is, or may be, dangerous to life, or injurious to health’’.
Most of the common nuisance complaints we receive at the council are:
- Smoke from burning of rubbish and plastics
- Smoke from burning old tires
- Noise after 9pm
- Septic and soak away leakage
- Illegal rubbish dumps
- Feeding and rearing of farm animals such as pigs, chickens, ducks, goats
- Unleashed dogs trespassing to other properties
- Bad smell from dirty toilets, septic or farm animals
- Dirty and overgrown premises
Food safety complains
- How to lodge a nuisance complaint with the EHU?
To lodge a nuisance complaint, please visit the Environmental Health Unit located at the municipal head office to address your concerns.
- What is the process?
- Fill up a complaint form detailing the offence committed (Provide photo evidence if possible)
- EHU officers and wardens will follow up on your complaint.
- If the offender is found to be guilty of offences described (according to relevant Laws), they will be served improvement and or abatement Notices. A copy of the notice will also be served to the complainant.
Fore more information about the penalties incurred for different offences committed under relevant Laws of the council, please visit the Environmental Health Unit if you have any questions or gives us a call on 22113.