The domestic port area was an eyesore to the general public in the past since it was treated as a drinking venue for alcoholics and entertained a lot of illegal activities like prostitution, betel nut market, drugs and home-brew (Kwaso) consumption.
But today it is a different story if one dares to visit the domestic port, in the heart of the capital city.
The parking area had been tar-sealed and cleaned. No one is allowed to smoke, drink alcohol and throw rubbish anywhere. The wharves are also being looked after by full time Ports officer when local vessels came in to berth.
Harbor Master Captain Judah Kulabule, said the domestic port has doing well in the last two years after it was tar-sealed with gates erected to control movements of vehicles and people.
He said the Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) has managed it well and were very strict with public using the domestic port.
He said by the look of things now, obviously one can tell the difference prior to 2016, when the wharves were use as a meeting point for random person using the area for illegal activities.
Kulabule said plans to improve the domestic port is still in their plan, but for now it is good for the people to see the difference they can make, in terms of manning our own things.
“I believe other State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) can do the same, but maybe we lack the strong mindset to push things,” he said.
He said, security tight up at the gates and within the domestic port reflects the strong management system they have in manning the only domestic port in Honiara.
“Had we not sought the help of foreign people with strong mind to help improve management of our SOEs, we won’t he able to see transformation in terms of development,” he claimed.
He said now there is a big boost in infrastructure development of SIPA, adding they are very proud of it and will continue to work hard to ensure our people enjoy the service SIPA provided.
Reiterating that SIPA depends on every citizens to work with them to ensure plans and goals to achieve in improving the SOE for the betterment of Solomon Islands are achievable.
By AATAI JOHN LAUNGI