MALAITA Provincial member for Ward 7, Leslie Kwaiga cautions Malaitans from being over excited about the establishment of Auluta Basin and Wasisi Oil Palm developments despite the recent announcement of the purchase of 50,000 seedlings by the National Government.
Mr Kwaiga said that realistically, the National Government had failed to build appropriate infrastructure at Aluta Basin and Wasisi to cater for the development of Oil Palm Plantations or for any major development on Malaita for that matter.
Mr Kwaiga said that appropriate and proper infrastructure is an essential prerequisite for any major developments and Malaita does not have such infrastructures in place currently.
The Aluta Basin concept was first drawn up in 1977 by Local Area Council and endorsed by the Malaita Provincial Government in 1989.
Since then the Cabinet of Solomon Islands approved the Aluta Basin Oil Palm Plantation in 2005 and launched by the National Government in 2007.
The ground breaking ceremony was made in 2009.
Mr Kwaiga calls on the National Government to honestly tell the people of Malaita how the Oil Palm plantations will be financed, owned and managed.
“Surely the National Government do not have the capacity and money to manage and operate such huge investments and so has the National Government identified a private investor for these projects?” Mr Kwaiga asked.
“If there is a private investor, it is prudent on the part of the Government to inform the people of Malaita particularly the landowners of such an investor.
Further the National Government need to explain to the landowners particularly the perpetual estate holders, the scheme of arrangement for the use of their lands, whether by outright purchase of their perpetual titles or by leasing of their lands for a fixed period of time where landowners benefit from their land every year for the life of the Oil Palm plantations?” Mr Kwaiga inquired.