To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Friday, February 02, 2007

RAMSI is working closely with SIG to develop Malaita Province

by Anne McCaig

Congratulating the new Premier of Malaita, Richard Irosaea, on his election last week, RAMSI Special Coordinator, Tim George, yesterday said that he looked forward to working with the Provincial Government on development plans for the province.

Mr George said he is keen to hear the views of the Malaitan Premier on the issues confronting the province.

“I have been pleased to visit Malaita on two occasions recently to see positive examples of the development partnership between the Solomon Islands Government and RAMSI,” Mr George said.

“Last week, I was invited to attend the opening of the Busurata road in Malaita. Local community leaders told me that it made it much easier for people to get products to market and to get to clinics and schools. Improving roads provide practical and tangible benefits to communities.

“The week I was pleased to witness the Solomon Islands Police and National Security Minister, Hon Isaac Inoke, turn the first sod for the construction of the new prison at Auki, part of a landmark project which will see the development of a justice precinct in the Malaitan capital.

“Importantly, the new prison will focus on rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners through vocational training in things like horticulture and farming.”

After attending the Auki prison ceremony, Mr George joined the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Dr Judson Leafasia in a tour of facilities including the hospital’s new isolation ward which RAMSI funded.

The road and bridge improvements in Malaita are funded by RAMSI as part of the Solomon Islands Government’s National Transport Plan. Work continues in the north and south of Malaita and the entire project is valued at AUD$16 million over five years.

Mr George said that RAMSI is also supporting farmers and small producers with improved farming techniques, information and plant stocks, as well as improving facilities at the Malu'u market in North Malaita.

RAMSI is also working on ways to boost its support to provincial governments and currently provides support to the Malaita Provincial Government through a Finance and management System Advisor.

Source: RAMSI

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