In a presentation to highlight the progress and achievements of RDP projects, rural communities have spoken highly of this program and commented the approach taken in its implementation which reaps positive results in most of the completed projects so far.
The RDP project targets three key objectives namely, local infrastructure and service delivery, improved agriculture service and rural business development.
RDP program manager Loti Vaisekavea said RDP has adopted a new approach to rural development.
He said RDP takes the community demand driven (CDD) approach which allows both the national and provincial governments to consult communities on their priority needs and develop a government and community partnership framework to address their needs.
Adding such approach would enable funding that is allocated for these communities rightly channelled and reaches them accordingly.
Also speaking during the media briefing was permanent secretary of agriculture Frank Wickham who talk highly of the program and what it achieves for rural farmers.
Mr Wickham said this program has enabled the ministry of agriculture and livestock to identify high priority areas of importance to rural community farmers through capacity building and service provisions MAL provides through technical and other areas of support for rural farmers.
“It is a very useful and important program which gives encouraging results through the type of approach it took. We want this program to continue and hope that the national government will come in to assist and participate strongly since it adds value to the agriculture sector in the country.
Meanwhile World Bank country manager Erick Johnson said the World Bank is very pleased with the progress of the program and achievements it achieved which really boils down to benefit the needy rural communities of the services they desperately needs.
He acknowledges the contributions communities have put into the projects they have undertaken that resulted positively to their lives in the rural areas.
Mr Johnson hopes that the government will recognise this positive progress and step in to assist in the future phases of this project for the benefit of Solomon Islands.
Currently under component one, a total of 377 community infrastructure subprojects has been approved.
Hundred and sixty eight (168) cycle four subprojects were approved by provincial assemblies in eight provinces for this year.
It is estimated to benefit 90,000 people across the eight provinces.
Out of a two hundred and four (204) community infrastructure subprojects initiated,47 have been completed while 157 are in construction in six provinces.
These 204 projects are estimated to have cost $45 million of which RDP contributed $29 million of that total cost.
Thus far it is estimated that 35,000 people are already benefiting from completed projects and more than 84,000 more people are estimated to be benefiting when all 204 projects completes.
Five projects have been cancelled due to land ownership issues. However the whole program was seen successful. All because over 29,000 people in the first eight planning units where RDP operated were said to involved in consultation meetings to indentify community subprojects of high priority to them.
The program was funded by AusAid, EU,IFAD and WB. RDP is implemented by the ministry of development planning and aid coordination and the ministry of agriculture and livestock in collaboration with the provincial government.
BY Daniel Namosuaia
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