Dear Editor – Solomon Islands is a country with scattered islands.
Choiseul Island is one of these islands that is far from the capital, Honiara, or other neighbouring islands.
There is a need for the people to travel to Honiara or other islands for business, education, health services, social services and the only means of transport (cheapest) is ship or passage boat.
Currently, the Lauru Company runs two ships, one is MV Sanmarcos carrying cargos, copra, timber, hardware materials and machineries and the other one is MV Lauru1 is for cargoes, copra with passengers which causes inconvience to passengers onboard.
Passengers normally travel on MV Lauru 1 for two weeks from Choiseul to Honiara.
This journey costs passengers lots of money, some being sick, not enough space, too crowded, not comfortable because MV Lauru1 is not a passenger boat but cargo boat.
The need for separate boat for passengers from the cargo boat can make travel convient, fast and reliable for passengers such as students, patients, business people, babies and older people.
There are some fortune people who have access to travel by plane because they have the capability and privilege but the concern was for the majority who are not fortunate enough to afford an air ticket.
The cheapest transport they can travel on to Honiara, Gizo, Noro and other parts of the country is by ship and that ship must be a passenger boat.
The need for a passenger boat is urgent because the population was rapidly increasing. The movement of the people from one island to other was needed. Travelling on outboard motor was not safe, for example from Choiseul to Gizo or Noro, some ended up losing their lives in the sea between these islands.
Let me put this concern to our leaders to take this matter into consideration. Who are the leaders then? The leaders are the chiefs of varies communities, the provincial members and the members of the parliament. These leaders have to work together, make plans and concern for their people.
If a passenger boat was to be purchased, then it will help the majority of the people of Lauru island and can make travelling more easy and reliable.