PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare and his delegation are back in Honiara late Sunday night, after a week- long successful tour of Temotu Province.
An official thank you dinner hosted by the provincial premier, Clay Forau Saturday evening was the icing on the cake.
Key components of the Prime Minister’s message to the Temotu Provincial government and its people during the Temotu Provincial Second Appointed Day included:
- This year’s Second Appointed Day theme ‘Our Temotu, Our future, Our responsibility’ underscores the reminder that the primary responsibility to see Temotu Province progress and be able to cope with the demands of the current changes in the country, lies in the hands of every people who call Temotu home.
- Taking ownership of collective strategies, decisions, plans, and strategic actions are important ingredients of implementing a successful Provincial action Plan.
- The relationship between the Provincial Government and National Government is governed by an act of Parliament, the Provincial Government Act.
- The Provincial Government as an agent of the national government should aspire to initiate developments that compliment, the National Government in the delivery of services. Ignoring this relationship is putting the future of the province and our country at risk.
- The Temotu Provincial Government has an important role in ensuring Solomon Islands remain strong and united as a nation.
- While shipping and infrastructure remain a major challenge for many provinces, it is more acute in Temotu given the distance between the islands and distance from Honiara. The National Government will assist Temotu Province address this development challenge.
- Temotu Province has been a recipient of the Solomon Islands Enhancement for Agriculture Trade (SI-ECAT) project coordinated through the ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Project is directly benefiting PZTR, a Lata based company that is build one of the biggest pack-houses in the country. Once completed, the local company will buy locally produced agriculture products from farmers around Temotu and store for export.
- The Nembo Water is a potential product for export and can be classified as mineral water in its own right, having met the World Health Organization standard.
- The ‘Temotu-Vanuatu Trade Route Report 2020’ has identified possible export products. These are in the areas of Fisheries, Agriculture, Livestock, Tourism, and bottled water.
- The Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement in its redirection policy emphasizes supporting local farmers to export their products. The Solomon Islands- Vanuatu Trade Route (via Lata) is an opportunity to enable trade under the MSG Agreement.
- Although hit hard by the global pandemic, DCGA plans to develop the Mendana Historical site at Graciosa Bay, a game fishing market, birdwatching, revisit tourism link to Santo and Develop one upmarket accommodation in the Reef Islands.
Medical supplies, Agriculture tools and seedlings and food supplies were distributed to the Chiefs and people of Tikopia, an Island of just around 1,300 current residents.
Areas visited included Safoa and Terano Schools and Tukutaunga clinic.
The Automatic Weather Station (AWS) in Tikopia was also repaired during the Prime Minister’s tour to Tikopia. The AWS was down since 2018 after water breached its main control box and has since been unserviceable given the challenges with access to the island.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management Dr. Melchior Mataki and Chief Technical Officer Mr. Barnabas Tahunipue who were part of the delegation managed to repair the AWS and have it operational by 10 June.
Tikopia is a strategic location for cyclone observations and monitoring. Given the southern waters is a hotspot for cyclone formation and monitoring, the Automatic Weather Station is important not only for Solomon Islands but the region.
The Prime Minister was supposed to visit Anuta as well, however, he was unable to because the Automatic Weather Station was not yet fully fixed at the time the party was supposed to depart for Anuta.
A decision to cancel the trip to Anuta was reached to give the team time for the Automatic Weather Station to be fixed.
The Prime Minister is aware of their concerns and will raise it through appropriate channels.