Solomon Airlines new flagship, an Airbus A320, aptly named “Spirit of Solomons” arrived at Henderson International Airport on Saturday afternoon.
The new aircraft recently underwent painting and seat installation in Townsville, Australia.
The arrival of the aircraft comes at a time when the Solomon Islands, like so many other countries, is facing the threat of coronavirus disease and being impacted by the effects of climate change causing rising sea levels, saltwater incursion, land erosion, loss of food gardens and likely migration to higher ground by communities at risk to their coastal homes, their food security, their health, and even their lives.
Given such difficult times, I have outlined the “Spirit of Solomons” will require the people to be steadfast and to tackle the adversities with courage and with ingenuity in adversity.
Ingenuity in adaption to climate change affecting agriculture could be assisted with help from Israel as the Hon. James Marape, the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea said when in Honiara recently.
Israel is a world leader in agricultural development and output, utilising the latest technological advances and scientific breakthroughs to develop a land generally hostile to the growing of crops and the production of fruit.
Prime Minister Sogavare has often spoken of the need for an increase in agriculture production at home and the Chairman of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) Jay Bartlett is in full agreement.
The Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MOHM) is active in taking every necessary precaution to keep coronavirus out of the Solomon Islands and in carrying out such precautions demonstrating the aspects of steadfastness in times of adversity that is symbolic of the “Spirit of Solomons.”
When it comes to agricultural development in line with the SIG’s plans for infrastructure improvements, ingenuity to combat climate change impacts could be aided with help from both Israel and the Netherlands and it would need little courage to ask for such help and be in keeping, I believe, in the spirit of rising to meet and overcome adversity.
By Frank Short