Dear Editor – In 2013, something every East Makira Constituency people believed to be a blessing has come their way.
East Makira owns a ship for the first time.
We were over joyed to finally know that our Member of Parliament Alfred Ghiro has bought a ship with the constituency fund; a boat which was named MV Takana.
What a beautiful name! Referring to its flowers, as everyone is hoping to see it flourished to full blossom.
It was a fishing boat worth at $1.5million out of the $3million allocated fund for each constituency to purchase a ship.
Whilst a local farmer in EMC is feeling relief to finally get his copra over to Honiara, something else sounds not right and has raised serious questions of Takana’s conditions.
On her way from Fiji to the Solomon Islands, Takana was disabled in Vanuatu waters and berthed there for few days to do some repair work.
Finally she was floating outside the Bahai Center in her bright blue appearance only for a day or two but then she disappeared again.
Many might be tempted to believe that she was away for her much awaited launching celebration at Namuga in East Makira.
But that was not the case. She’s been slipped up at the Tulagi Sasape Marine slipway for full overhaul.
Debates were brewing up among constituents and over the social media of the conditions of the so-called new ship.
It runs in an on and off rundown mode until it was detained by the Solomon Islands Maritime Safety Administration (SIMSA) in December 2015 for non-compliance with the SIMSA regulations for several serious reasons.
Takana was a fishing vessel, it was not registered since arrival and operated illegally for nearly 3 years, it was not safe to be used as a cargo or passenger boat, and it was unseaworthy.
She was now berthed at Namuga to join her sister MV East Bauro where both posed an environmental pollution threat at Star Harbour.
They become homes and breeding sites for sea creatures, cockroaches, mosquitoes, bed bugs, and was captained by Mr Rat.
Takana is but now only a name in her short life span.
And here we are in 2016, a year away from the 2018 National General Election.
Constituents can’t wait receive their much awaited projects delivery. That’s good news for constituents, and good on you Mr MP for making sure projects were delivered to where intended to on board MV Kafe last week.
But if I were you, I should be ashamed for chartering a vessel to load these projects to East Makira.
I am ashamed on your behalf Mr MP.
That you chartered a vessel owned by your colleague MP Steve Abana where you both received the same funds allocation to pay for a constituency ship.
He utilised his, and what about you Mr MP?
Where is Takana to load these projects?
You chartered a vessel for 10 days which cost the constituency thousands of lucrative amounts of money which should be well spent in other projects for the people if you have made a good choice of ship at the first place.
A ten days charter, but you don’t even sink MV Kafe to its mark line with your loadings.
If other MPs can well spend that $3million shipping fund for quality boats for their constituents, why don’t you?
Where did you spent the remaining portion of that $3m shipping grant if you only used $1.5m as recorded?
Now your people received their projects, how sustainable are they to generate income?
What’s your housing scheme plan is like? You only supply roofing iron, what about other building material like nails, louvers, iron rods, etc.?
Let me assure you that in you next round for 2018 campaign which was started now; you will see these sheets of roofing iron that you delivered now still be stuck underneath their houses eroding and would be covered with spider dust and webs.
Learn something from the sitting Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare who completed his 20 years housing scheme this year in a matter of ten years.
Mr MP in the eyes of your colleague MPs, you should be ashamed that MV Takana is now non-operational, whilst theirs were up and running.
You and your Constituency Development officers need to pull up your shocks and have well-established plans for the sustenance of your projects to the people.
Not just to make your name known in the media in the name of project delivery.
Merry Christmas and God bless you to change your mindset and attitudes of serving your people in this festive season.
God bless East Makira for a visionary a leader in the future to come.
East Makira Constituency