To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

[P.O Box 13, Honiara, Solomon Islands/ Email: Tel:+677 7424025]

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Can our new MP and the government improve service delivery in North Malaita?

As we await the appointment of a new Prime Minister and his pool of Ministers, we wonder if the new government in collaboration with our new MP can improve basic service delivery in North Malaita over the next four years.

During the last several years, we have witnessed that only a few government agencies visited the constituency. It was also noted that former Members of Parliament made only a few, or no visits at all to the constituency. The few visits that they had to the constituency were targeted to favoured villages only. We hope that our curent MP along with the new government would be more committed to the bottom-up approach in terms of development, implying regular visits throughout the whole constituency and not just to a few selected communties. The insufficient visits and monitoring by vital government agencies and our MP has resulted in several failed government projects that was initiated in North Malaita.
An abandoned community police post at Loina Village: Evidence of failed government programmes

For instance, a Solomon Islands Development Administration Planning Programme (SIDAPP) survey carried out in April 2000 indicated that in ward 7, the few visits recorded were from Malaria, Health, Hydrology (from Department of Natural Resources), National Planning and Agriculture. In ward 8 visits were mainly from Malaria and Agriculture, and ward 9 mainly Malaria. It was reported that a large number of villagers in the constituency received assistance from agriculture in 1992. The assistance received were for coconut and cocoa development, mainly expansion and maintenance. Only one cocoa drier was given that year. It was also found that Provincial Development Unit (PDU) funded a fishing project in ward 7 in 1992. The project beneficiary was assisted with a Canoe, Out board motor, Eskies and Fishing Gear. However, the projects had long since stopped operating since there was no proper training and monitoring by appropriate government agencies.

(Top) Truck is one of the main modes of transport on land besides foot walking but the major issues are the condition of the road and the lack of support towards this business by the government. (Bottom) Canoe is the other mode of transport on sea.

The To'abaita Authority for Research and Development believe that if the isolation of rural communities is allowed to proliferate by this new government and our new MP, the sustainability of any rural projects or initiatives would not be guaranteed over the next four years. We believe that it is important for the new government to make constant visits to rural communities throughout the country in order to move forward in terms of proper project implementation and monitoring, which would eventually benefit rural constituents.

[Pictures were copied from PF Net SIDAPP Webpage]

Editor's note: The examples used above regarding development projects in North Malaita Constituency are adapted from PF Network and is just few examples of failed government projects throughout the country due to inefficient monitoring. That survey was carried out in April 2000 by SIDAPP and it does not mean that these are the only projects implemented by the government, or our former MPs, in North Malaita. This is just one example.


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