HONIARA, TUES 20 OCT 2020 — A team from the Forum Solomon Islands International (FSII) visited Wagina in Choiseul Province as part of a coverage program to expose development gaps in the rural provinces and influence government response.
The “Uncovering The Untold” is an initiative of the Solomon Islands Social Accountability Coalition (SISAC) that uses forms of videos, articles and the media to voice the calls of the rural population on the issues and difficulties they face in the absence of essential services.
FSII, as a partner of SISAC, carried out this program in Cookson, Aririki and Nukumaroro earlier in the month and used the occasion to educate and empower the people of Wagina on their rights as Solomon Islanders and how responsible authorities and leaders can be accountable from the community level.
FSII’s visit also used the opportunity to capture stories and voices of the people of Wagina.
Inia Barry Wickham, team leader of the FSII team, acknowledged the full cooperation and availability of those who visited the communities in Wagina.
“This trip was very successful in a way that we see the real issue based on health facilities and services and how people are eventually accepting it.”
He revealed there are issues at Wagina that remain the responsibility of our governments and authorities and these have gone unanswered for as long as over 40 years.
“It is sad that the people of Wagina, while they are a minority, they contribute a lot to the economy of this country. But the poor facilities at Wagina, especially on health services, is shocking,” Inia said.
He further added that the health clinic service in Wagina is in dire need of a proper face-lift to ensure that the people have their fair share to access healthcare services.
Elders of the three communities in Wagina appreciated the efforts of the visiting team.
The team did media coverage on three communities in Wagina Island and held workshop with community members on Social Accountability, Leadership and Governance.
Earlier this year, a SISAC team piloted the “Uncovering The Untold” to communities in Simbo, Ranonga and Vella in the Western Province. A series of videos were published following these visits that exposed some shocking conditions of rural health facilities in these areas which led to a triggered response by the Western Health Department and the Western Provincial Government.
Ongoing efforts to influence changes and response to our rural communities undertaken by SISAC have also been carried out in the weather coast of Guadalcanal and across Malaita Province. Findings and issues captured from these visits will also be published by the coalition.
The Solomon Islands Social Accountability Coalition (SISAC) is made up of 11 partners; Coalition of Education Solomon Islands, Development Services Exchange, Forum Solomon Islands International, Honiara Youth Council, National Scouts Association, National Youth Congress, One More Shot, Oxfam in the Pacific, PaCivic Initiative, Solomon Island Development Trust and Young Women’s Parliamentary Group.
SISAC’s work is supported and funded by the European Union and Oxfam, implemented through Oxfam in the Solomon Islands and the Solomon Islands Development Trust (SIDT).