ALL indigenous Solomon Islanders have a village to call home. We are very fortunate for this blessing.
Even our local urban residents raced to the village setting to rejoin with their loved ones and relatives during a festive season’s break, or when life is unbearable on the other sides.
The village setting is our Safety Net, this is also the Core of this Nation. There are plenty of ways, perspectives, encounters and experiences we can describe our safety net.
In the coming years a good number of indigenous children and youthsin the Solomon Islandswill be raised and spend more time in urban centers and may not have the real feel for what living in a village setting can be like.
The absence of real village setting experience and the in-depth values of our traditional/cultural upbringing in our lives can demolish this safety net.
These includes lack of respect towards our customs, family connectivity and genealogy, negligence of inheritance and rights..etc).
Both village dwellers and urban residents need to put on actions at the fields to protect our villages that sum up the village setting. This is the core of this Nation.
I guess a number of our local urban settlers shared volumes of stories to our village dwellers during the recent trip to any of our villages; staka stories on world, regional or national events-sports, wars, technologies, development, projects, fashions, or how to make big monies; the list goes on.
Vilijpipolbloiumigohed listen, lafla’af and inject additional flavors in keeping these sessions interesting.
It can be funny when story tellers from urban centers may not have all the accurate facts but just because of being an urban settler makes him/her a bit upfront for an audience.
It will be helpful, if these discussions were aligned towards making village action plansto be social friendly, environmentally sound and financially viable.
Both village dwellers and urban settlers alike can also highlight that this modern economydrives most of our people to capitalize on how much $$ we have in the bank accounts(or how much $$ receive per pay days) rather than the number of natural (forests, fish, minerals, land,)and human resourceswe own.
In fact, we own makes up Solomon Islandsand this is theSafety Net. It is our business to saveour village setting unless we prefer to be enslaved in our own land by a governance system that may not have the respect for the Safety Net.
I’ve heard rumors that jobless people in some countriesreceive certain direct $$ package from their Government that allows them to make a living on a weekly basisunder some strict conditions.
Suchformuladoes not apply in our Country! SIG does not provide $$ packages to ourjobless thousands, not even a penny on an annual basis and perhaps for life.ooopsdespite that,our people even without paid jobs or money are still able to make a living.
Our Safety Net plays its role, and welcomes our elites, unemployed, the disabled the disadvantaged, and rich and poor alike, all through.
Yet,as far as income generation and trade done by village people is concerned, most $$ returns are sucked by taxes, tariffs, freights, and the increasing cost of goods and other transactions in urban centers such as Honiara.
Theyreturn to their villages with very little profit, or no profit at all, along with imported goods/productsfroman almost monopolized shopping center.
Village people are victims over and over again in a number of economic and political activities.
Village people have given portions after portions of our natural wealth away without fair social, environmental and financial returns at the end of a day’s sale.
RCDF and its associate packages under MP’s signature should at least compliment the financial difficulties faced by village people if seen relevant. This is a bias, greedy and selfish approach. It can be even worse if land acquisition is blinding those at the Safety Net.
SIG should not pretend not to notice these unfair treatment applied to our financially illiterate village population by those in any form of authority/ies at the Government, Private Sector, or Non State Actors groupings. (Do not force them to sign ghost agreement/s, a reminder to Mr/Mrs.Whoolves in Sheep’s skin).
It is not good to return home one day and find that the village we once call home is not that welcoming, or supportive for our survival anymore.
This is an uncomfortable scenario indigenous Solomon Islanders need to avoid as we advance into the future.
Just be careful and screen the inflow of investors and development partners’ interests.
Our local knowledge and strength needs to be respected by all other interveners rather than quickly bowing down to their interests.
There are professional networks playing games around and they may all of a sudden own us without our village people’s consent.
There is always need for a National Safety Net.
God Bless Solomon Islands!
By LONGDEN MANEDIKA