Beneficiaries of projects under the Marovo Constituency 2022 fishery initiative are reminded to always stick to the binding agreement that they signed.
Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) Dr. Samson Viulu said failure to comply with the agreement will lead to the repossession of the project assets by the responsible ministry which is the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) and the Constituency Office and perhaps reallocated to other organized communities that would need them.
PS Viulu said it was obvious that some recipients who are custodians of the boats under the Marovo Constituency Rural Development Program and did not adhere to the agreement, brew disagreements and differences among communities and families.
He reiterated that the boats are not for individual use but they are meant for community usage. And those recipients who sign on behalf of communities should not claim the properties/assets as their own, since the assets are meant for communities.
On 28 June 2022, Marovo Constituency through their Member of Parliament (MP) Chachabule Amoi invested six (6) million dollars of CDF allocation into a fishery project.
The initiative seen an investment of 160 boats/canoes along with 160 horsepower engines (15HP) to 160 communities/beneficiaries, to boost local fishery within the constituency where fish are abundant with potential benefits to improve livelihood of people within the constituency.
Under the project, communities/recipients also received one (1) each 200 litres esky for storage of fish and other perishable goods.
Communities in four wards within the constituency were allocated project each under a signed legal agreement.
The agreement was signed between the Ministry of Rural of Development and the Beneficiary(s)/communities and witnessed by the MP of Marovo, for the implementation of the Fishery Project funded under the Rural Development/CDF Program.
The agreement has four (4) articles which are:
- Scope and Objection
- Main roles and responsibilities of the parties
- Obligation of the Ministry of Rural Development
- Obligations of the Project Beneficiary(s)
Under the agreement the project beneficiary(s) will be held accountable and dealt with accordingly if there are cases of misuse and abuse. MRD and the constituency Office will also closely monitor the project for accountability and transparency purposes.
However, disagreements and grievances were vented over the use and ownership of the community assets, causing division and deteriorating relationships in communities and even between families in the constituency.
PS Viulu said it is important for communities to organise themselves and plan how they can use the assets to avoid such situation that would create ill feelings and disunion amongst communities and families.
“In cases that there are abuse and misuse of the project assets, the Ministry responsible (MRD) and the constituency will retrieve those assets and transferred to other communities that will look after these assets properly. That was clearly stated in the signed agreement,” he said.
PS Viulu said that there are cases that MRD and the constituency office have to step in and settle disagreements and differences over the use and management of the project assets in communities. And that is the commitment and process MRD is taking as aligned to the agreement to make sure everyone benefited from the projects.
He said on Sunday 22 January 2022, MRD officials including MP Chachabule settled disputes among Bopo community and also retrieved a boat and Outboard Motor Engine (OBM) allocated to INILEANA Community under the fishery project.
He said the repossession of the property does not mean that MRD and the constituency is taking back the boat & OBM but he said the action is to give time for the community to talk over and settle their differences before they can have it back.
He added that the undertakings are what MRD wants to achieve in the implementation of the first ever Solomon Islands Constituency Development (SICD) Policy which will lead to reforming the CDF Act 2013 and the draft 2023 CDF Regulation Framework.