TEMOTU Province is planning to build a women’s centre or craft market to help its women sell their products and earn an income.
The province’s Chief Planning Officer Bruno Forau said this during a visit by the media team to project sites funded by Provincial Governance Strengthening Program (PGSP) last month.
“We are planning to build a women’s market for women to sell craft,” Mr Forau said.
This women’s project is likely to be built under the next phase of the PGSP this year.
Another area the province is looking at is the revival of an existing fisheries centre at Utupua.
Mr Forau said one of the sectors that they have to strengthen in the next phase is the fisheries centres.
“This one area we want more funding on in the next PGSP phase.
“Currently we only have fisheries sub-centres in the reef and Nangu.”
He added that the sectors prioritised under the PGSP are Health, Education, Tourisms and the Administration.
“Currently there have been no fishery project as of yet,” he added.
PGSP is an institutional strengthening programme aiming to develop the capacity of the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS) and the nine provincial governments to fulfil their mandates in either delivering, or coordinating with line departments for the effective delivery of services.
The Australian Government through RAMSI, European Union (EU), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) with a counterpart from the Solomon Island Government (SIG) are financing the program.
And under the deal MPGIS is executing the programme with UNDP as the administrative agent.
Mr Forau said more PGSP funded projects are allocated towards the Education sector.
He said the bigger portion of the PGSP funding was tapped towards the development sector.
Another project that is yet to be built is provincial library.
However, he said due to the late release of the funding, they have constructed the University of South Pacific (USP) branch in the province before they will move to the provincial library.
The Chief Planning Officer said one of the set-backs to completing the projects in time is the remoteness of the province.
“The difficulty in transportation is one factor that slows down the project.”
But despite the difficulty, he said they are happy with the projects.
He said though the year ends, they will continue with the projects this year.
“So far we have not received any complaints from the recipients of the PGSP projects.
“The recipients of the projects have expressed their happiness of having the projects as the province alone cannot help in those developments.
“They appreciate the projects because they see the developments it has done to their community and province as a whole,” Mr Forau said.
He said the capacity building training provides broader knowledge to Permanent Secretaries, Provincial Secretaries, Chief Planning Officers and Secretaries.
There was a training that was also provided to heads of divisions that help them on how to write and submit proposals for projects to donors.
Other trainings also provided were on how to manage contracts and to manage projects.
He added that before these trainings, staffs were not interested in these areas.
Mr Forau said he has seen a change in the attitudes of the staff after the training.
“Staff are now more cooperative in the projects.
“If the funding is flexible, funding should be given to farmers to assist them in producing local commodities.”
He said there would be a lot of big changes in the province in terms of development after the phase two and three.
“I believe PGSP should continue to provide its assistance as the province doesn’t have the revenue to fund bigger projects that will have bigger impacts.”
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN