MOI Constituents curious over vessel - Solomon Star News

MOI Constituents curious over vessel

08 November 2018
MV Sitka

THE Malaita Outer Islands (MOI) Constituency is still without a vessel although their Member of Parliament (MP) Martin Kealoe had received $4.2 million eight years ago.

And this had prompted constituents to question and raised their concerns to this paper by asking the government through Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) and the MP when the vessel will arrive.

Parliament will dissolve next month and most of the MPs will become ordinary citizens as of 17th December.

The Solomon Star has cited the shipping grant documents that confirmed the MP had received a total of $4.2 million from the shipping grant during his two terms in parliament.

According to the audit report from the Auditor General it shows that in 2013 the MP received $3million under the shipping grant and again in 2015-2016 he furether received an additional $1.2 million.

However, since then nothing was seen by constituents.

Constituents over the past weeks have commented in the social media seeking answers for the much-awaited vessel.

They are begging for answers since they have been waiting for eight years without any vessel to serve remote islands which often experience avoidable deaths from diseases, due to shipping transport difficulties.

Two years ago MV. Sitka, a Tongan-registered vessel was purchased for MOI. However, it ran aground on a reef in Fiji during its secret voyage to Solomon Islands.

Since then the vessel was not allowed by Solomon Islands Maritime Administration (SIMA) to enter Solomons waters, because it was too old and does not meet the safety standard set by SIMA.

When contacted, a constituency official told this paper yesterday that only the MP can speak to the media on anything to do with the ship.

However, Mr. Kealoe told the Solomon Star in an interview recently that there was a task-force appointed to deal with the ill-fated vessel.

He said the task-force will decide on what to do with MV. Sitka once concluding their report.