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PM launches $21m CT Scan, the country’s first

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PM Sogavare, centre, with Minister of Health Dr Togamana and Dr Oritaimae at the CT Scan launching today

The country today witnessed the launching of its first Computed tomography (CT) Scan worth $21m at the National Referral Hospital.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was given the honour to launch the CT Scan and witnessed a live scan of a person using the new CT scan firsthand.leonard nonifi

Leonard Nonifi, the patient who was the first to use the CT scan after its launch today.

CT Scan is a diagnostic imaging exam that uses X-ray technology to produce images of the inside of the body. It can show detailed imagines of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, organs and blood vessels.

Sogavare announced today that until yesterday there were 73 CT scan tests and they were performed for examination of brain, chest, inner ear, heart, kidney, liver etc…

“We can now do it here,” he said.

One medical expert told SBMOnline today that the machine will help to identify diseases at an early stage so that they could be addressed.

Sogavare said the idea to have a CT Scan started in 2010 but it was not until 2019 when cabinet approved it and committed $21m and project took off the ground.

He said it is a unique project because it is fully funded by the SIG, and delivered total by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

The building which was constructed by Hatanga is of Australia and New Zealand standard and fitting to house the CT scan.

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Resigned CIP PPAC MPAs’ hit back at premier, state 9 reasons for their action

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The resigned MPAs with their chairman Galaigu in the middle, front.

Resigned members of the Central Islands Province Public Accounts Committee (PPAC) have given nine reasons for boycotting the PPAC resulting in the province losing 60% of its capital PCDF funding from the government.

Premier Stanley Manetiva said his office was appalled by the outcome by not having the Appropriation Budget Estimates for 2022/2023 financial year thru PPAC for reasons as stated on their resignation letters ONLY.

But today, the MPAs’ hit back at the premier and his executive, outlining nine points why they resigned claiming widespread corruption in the provincial government and its administration.

Chairman of PPAC Polycarp Galaigu who was amongst the five reigned MPAs said their resignation was based on these key areas that they believed were breached including all the guiding policies, orders and ordinances in which the province is operating on. He added even though those issues were repeated in nearly every PPAC meetings and Assembly meetings since 2019.

Galaigu said the issue to solve the PPAC grievances that led to their resignation should already been resolved had the premier himself listened to the Speakers Office and humbly handle the situation in an amicable way. “But instead he was too emotional to listen to advises, and to the extent harshly approached everyone that wanted to help in solving the issue once and for all, resulting in the none passing of the budget,” he said.

The resigned MPAs’ are: Galaigu MPA Ward 8 North West Ngella, Hon Kenneth Sagupari MPA Ward 2 Central West Ngella- Vice Chairman, Hon James Kaka MPA Ward 1 Sandfly Bonevesta- Member, Hon Jay Rotaua MPA Ward 10 Pavuvu.

The MPAs’ had put forward their submissions to the province and the government as to why they boycotted the PPAC. Below are their 9 points in detail:

The Chairman in response on behalf of the PPAC members first of all acknowledge the Hon Premier of Central Province for informing the Province of the very reasons why the budget didn’t pass but it will be more interesting to hear the root cause of why the PPAC didn’t convene the PPAC meeting required under the Order for the people of CENTRAL Province to know the type of government leadership their Province have in this 11th Assembly.

First of all, we the resigned PPAC of CENTRAL Province ( Hon Polycarp Galaigu MPA Ward 8 North West Ngella- Chairman, Hon Kenneth Sagupari MPA Ward 2 CENTRAL West Ngella- Vice Chairman, Hon James Kaka MPA Ward 1 Sandfly Bonevesta- Member, Hon Jay Rotaua MPA Ward 10 Pavuvu), regret to inform the Province at large to see us as the cause of the none passing of the Provincial budget and the claimed budget by the Premier as the budget of the people, but we have to look at both sides of the story before we could have a harmonize conclusion, hence as PPAC resigned members and elected leaders of our province and people we wanted to clear our side on the very reasons of our resignation.

Section 199 – 214 of the Order fully covered PPAC formation, Powers, functions and other areas related for fully functioning of the province that needs to be respected as the Mandated Committee of the Provincial Assembly, and the Provincial budget to be passed is legally required to go true the scrutinizing of this Committee. Public Accounts Committee step taken resulting of the none passing of the budget and losing of PCDF 60% estimated around $3m is seen by the current ruling government as hijacked, but let me assure the province and our people that we believe that this step is necessary in order to put the province in the right direction and set a precedence not to go again in this path.

As resigned PPAC of the Provincial Assembly we want to say to the people of Central Province that our resignation is just the tip of the Iceberg but there is a lot going on in the province that people needs to know even though we term in the report as position Number (1) and only time will tell the manifestation of those things going on in the province as it said in the Bible “what’s hidden in the dark will one-day show in the light “.

First, our resignation is based on these key areas and we see it breaches almost all the guiding policies, orders and ordinance in which the province is operating even though those issues repeatedly in almost every PPAC meetings and Assembly meetings since 2019 till now and become evident to us as executives and administration issues of serious considerations but miserably fail over and over again, and these are; Development Budget issues, Procurement issues and PPAC SO mandate.

  1. Unfair distribution of PCDF projects of the 13 Wards of Central Province.

The truth is that all the PPAC members and the non executive members didn’t implement any PCDF projects since the current ruling government took office. It is a hot debate in Assembly floor since 11th Assembly first seating and PPAC first seating in 2019 till now only the executive knows the reason of such. By law it is must for rollover projects passed by previous Assembly under PCDF to be prioritize funding before any new projects but in our case new projects of the executive funded leaving non exco rollover projects left out. As wards representatives of the province we see PCDF for the whole of Central Province but in our case PCDF is just for the Provincial Executive, and the Hon Premier uses it to hold his government number just for political ambitious. We, the leaders expected in a little way at least our wards receive a share of PCDF to address issues encountered by our people for so long but it’s not in our case as a Province. We understand that due to covid19 our PCDF budget is cut by certain percentage but to be left out rollover projects of non executive and fund new projects of executive even though knowing very well that this projects need urgent attention. Hence, some of the none executive wards least benefited from such funding compared to other wards whom benefited three to four times than others. Example, Tulagi Ward – Ward represented by Hon Premier Stanley Manetiva whom almost benefited full part of PCDF allocation but fail to know that 90% of Tulagi population is not Central Province origin pepple leaving the very people of the province who also need those services out. We don’t want to hear excuses saying that Tulagi Ward allowed to use 20% of PCDF to upgrade and improve administrative buildings but what about the long forgotten substations in the province that need serious considerations? Or is it meant for Tulagi only whom also uses part of 75% part of PCDf meant for all 13 Wards? To clarify to our people and respected Wards the projects mentioned by the Premier in his press release are not fully funded under PCDF and some are not captured in the budget until PPAC members resign before the executive government trying to negotiate by insert an amendments but will have to go through the process again not just shortcut as proposed by the Executive and Administration. Therefore, to make it fair to all the 13 Wards and to fulfill the Hon Premiers common phrase of leaving no one behind, let’s all face and recieved the same results, that’s unity ” we rich we rich together, we poor we poor together as a Province “. Not serving only few and leaving the rest out of the picture as usually practices in the Province. How possible to release story this morning brother?

  1. Technical Evaluation Committee & Provincial Tender Board Conflict of Awarded Preferences

These committees have breached almost every process and procedures of the FMO and PCDF manual. There are many cases in which the TEC made recommendations for contractors who met all the requirements and qualified enough to meet project end results according to their checklist, however, to our surprise awards of most projects in the province under PCDF is given to different contractors yet by the PTB especially contractors in which the PTB and Executive governments have interests in resulting in very slow project completion, high variations and continuous rollover of projects for many years. Hence, TEC is a qualified committee with expertise who knows very well which contractors fit for such projects for its successful completion. The case in point is the contractor who didn’t deliver the Yadina Water Tanks project. On this note, the committee involved with contractors in adjustment of project plans after signing of projects is a serious matter of concern maybe or maybe not to the knowledge of the contractors such practice is done for the small Tulagi hospital ablution block worth $340 plus thousands which should be suppose to cost less if the plan is adjusted and poses a great concern of investigation for such small projects with big value of money.

 

3. Yadina Water Tanks failed Project continuously funded

This is a long overdue failed Project which was approved in 2019/2020FY. The people of Banika have complained why the case was not reported to the police for investigations. The PCDA informed the Assembly during the budget review that he did not know how the money was raised and paid out when there was no Monitoring and Evaluation carried out on the project. The contactor already signed the contract for the project and it’s a surprise why such project is not delivered to the people and being paid 60% more than two progressive payments already even though there are no tanks on site. The PPAC and Assembly members always raise this issue in the meetings but the usual answer is legal actions will be taken but since 2019 till now no legal actions have been taken even though there is an allocation in PCDF that can be taken care of such issue. Hence, to our surprise in 22/23FY $60,000.00 was endorsed by the executive under works division to cover the cost of recovering the lost fund by the Manetiva led government and the administration which is really unfair to other wards whom missed out in such funding since 2019, and we call on MPGIS not only to investigate this project but to do so in PCDF expenditures as a whole in Central Province. The province will have to cover this cost but those involved will walk away with thousands of dollars if this is not addressed, and to be frank it’s not only our duty to investigate such practices but it’s the current ruling government responsibility to take actions as a matter of good governance to address this issue, but failed to do so because maybe they themselves also involved in the projects discrepancies.

  1. Market to Chamber Road Funding

This road was included in the capital project with the cost of $400 plus thousands was tendered and the winning bidder was announced, but to the surprise of many people the contract was given to a close associate of the PS Central Province who ran away because the work was signed and paid directly to the PS instead he will take the money before paying Association and his employees. The contract for the road was in fact own by the PS CPG, and for same road $50,000 was taken from ESP covid19 fund under the PS own initiative instead of the executive endorsement which we see as unprocedural allocation that should be done by the executive, $20,000 again was approved by the Assembly for the same road through virements from Town Council allocation subheadings, after they also took the retention money and used materials that belonged to Town Council activities and was admitted that due to shortage of materials but never been reimbursed to date, is this right? We see this project as a failed project because concrete made for the road is already broken less that a year, this a result of poor design and contractor. The worst part is the machinery used belongs to the province as well and the work is done in labor bases. So for almost more than $400 plus thousands spent but of a poor quality and funds should other wards benefited from is just wasted on the poor road of low quality. The PS himself admitted in the last PPAC meetings that due to fund exhausted he used funds under the ESP, hardware materials from other division to complete the project. Hence, the project is funded under PCDF and CPG capital budget which we believe is sufficient enough to complete the project, however, the project was not completed as funds from the recurrent budget was used to complete the project which is only right to upgrade or improve or maintaining of the road rather funding the new project. Such practice is believed to be practiced by the PS CPG in the past for the same type of fund which we believe the serious findings needed because we believe those in the system also involve in the making even though they know very well that to pay Provincial Fund as personal payments is wrong. We ask those responsible to clarify this not only for Central Province but to the nation at large as it’s not only wrong but misused of funds and false reporting will be highly practice once this kind of practices is allowed to happen.

  1. ESP COVID-19 allocation of $45, 300 for Hakama Farm

Under the allocation of the ESP endorsed by the executive government and passed by the Assembly, $50,000.00 was captured in the budget FY 20/21 for Hakama farm, unfortunately only $4,700.00 has been received and confirmed by the agriculture division to date. Why the remaining balance is not paid to Hakama is unclear when it was passed since 2020/21FY. Information obtained during PPAC from CPG PS and TR the money is still kept in the Provincial Account even though the Agriculture team really needs the money, but remains a big question now of this allocation. On this same sentiment, $100,000.00 is given to Siota PSS for water and sanitation project. However, in a sad reality it’s like only part of the money being used to build the small ablution one for boys and one girls with no running water at the time of opening. Hence, big value of money is given with small outputs which raises questions of fund mismanagement which we believe the ruling government and administration knew of this.

  1. Tulagi Commercial Center Projects Continuously rollover

This project is a failed Project and we believe the Province has already been penalized for it in the past but still has been prioritize in this 11th Assembly for funding and completion rather than funding of new projects needed by other wards for urgent needed services. The contractor of the building failed to complete this project within the scheduled time frame. This same project keeps rolling over and over every Financial Year. We also note that during the project period of the current contractor, he bought lands in Tulagi from people even though lands is just in the offer stage with no title and he’s building houses also at his home village, building private houses equipped with video disc interior flash toilet and kitchen. Hence, the very reasons of those rollover projects is also because of contractors none commitment, and hardware materials of projects is diverted for other personal usage and cronies. Around the same period of time, the PS CPG also built two classic houses one at his home village and another at Tulagi. The Premier too also built four new houses at his private residence at Tulagi and of course the TR big resthouse. While these are good individual developments of this three top leaders it raises a lot of questions speculating by the public that PCDF funds could be involved in funding such properties, because to have such properties you must have money in millions but looking at these top leaders their salaries don’t match such, even though if they obtain bank loans. On this same sentiment, these three top leaders also given the privilege of land title in Tulagi township in the recent title offer by the ministry of lands board even though hundreds of poor people and hard working Provincial workers whom serve the Province for so long and applied for a piece of land being neglected over and over again. Hence, we’re not surprised of such practice because Tulagi is just operated as a family business or operation by the top leaders.

  1. PDOC $90,000.00 allocation paid directly to PS of CPG from NDMO

This money was paid by the NDMO to assist PDOC to monitor the Corona situation in Central Province. The money was raised and paid directly to PS CPG and never paid to Provincial Account even though it’s a public fund, and used as daily allowances. Hence, the PS CPG went to buy more than 100 plus bags of rice transported it in the Police speed boat from Honiara to Tulagi, and sold them to people during look down and travel ban periods. Hence, our question is why this public fund is not reflected in the Province of no humanitarian support in the Province and no COVID19 setups in the Province even though such big money is given to the Province? The Premier is well aware of this but has not raised any questions about its use while the people in our wards suffered the effects of COVID19. Such practice is believed to be practiced by the PS CPG in the past for the same type of fund which we believe serious findings needed because as far as we think those in the system also involve in the making even though they know very well that to pay Provincial Fund as personal payments is wrong. We ask those responsible to clarify this not only for Central Province but to the nation at large cos its not only wrong but misused of funds and false reporting will be highly practice once this kind of practices is allowed to happen.

  1. Fuel Supply and usage of Provincial Assets

The Premier has his own fuel depot and almost every fuel he uses for his Provincial running is taken from his own depot. We had been informed that the invoices are given to a private fuel supplier who raises the requisitions for the payments of his own fuel to the Provincial Treasury whose Payments is always the priority above every Payments, and a third party transactions against the FMO and a conflict of interests his own fuel depot for Provincial official purposes. The same with other Provincial Staffs: PS CPG, Senior Accountant CPG and Provincial Boat Driver CPG, and is a serious breach to FI to use Provincial Assets in this manner for personal usage such as Provincial depot for personal selling of fuel. Hence, it remains questionable if they declare or not their business to LCC thus request responsible authorities to verify their business declarations. In all Central Province Authorities knew all of this but wish to remain silent because they themselves involve in such practices, and fail to correct and rightfully take procure in such circumstances. It is also questionable whether they pay for Provincial licenses for operating fuel depot or not, but to impose strong sanctions on our poor rural people for depot license but free selling of fuel by officials is really bad, and all Provincial runs that needs fuel only taken from this officials depot, and Payments will be raised and signed by themselves. Thus the question is are we going to allow all this to continue to happen or not? Let you our rural people of Central Province to answer this.

  1. Breaching of PPAC functions and Powers by the ruling Government policies under SO

There are many concerns that we raised during the first quarter of FY21/22 unfortunately our findings were never been recorded by the secretary that’s why we support the appointment of the new secretary to review and monitor the discrepancies and alleged activities done outside the SO, FMO and PCDF manual. It is however unfortunate that the administration and executive have different preferences and caused the delay of recruiting the PPAC secretary. Hence, there are many things we found out as PPAC but never been recorded by our secretary because of close affiliation to the Administration and executive even though questioning of every payment submission of $4000 – $5000 per meetings beside the seating allowances convene meetings. Hence, PPAC in Central Province is just used as a rubber stamp by the ruling government and administration for assessment formality fulfillment but lack respects to the power and functions of the mandate committee under Assembly Standing Order. For example, PPAC sometimes missed out in few daily seating allowance even though there’s an allocation on the budget, and times PPAC wanted to visit projects sites in the province to see projects and questioning people as mandated in the SO but denied rights by the authority. At this juncture, we regret to inform our people of Central Province that our actions taken is to save the Province in the long run because few greedy leaders and officials really enjoyed all those benefits for so long never expecting us to take such necessary actions just for a little while but for how many years past they enjoyed millions of dollars intended for the rural poor people who struggle to access better services but denied. Hence, you’re given false and fabricated reports just to cover up all the corruption practices by the big fishes and led to believe reports of position Number (1) but you yourself judge the development of the Province. On this note, we as PPAC resigned cannot convene meetings just to give opportunities to the big fishes to continue enjoying the benefits of the province while leaving the rest of the province victimized, so we have to take such necessary action to stop them this way. It’s true that there are other ways to address such grievances but in the case of Central Province where money and power play it just not work even just in small ways in requesting documents or transactions related issues but just denied so to put a stop we knew the consequences of our actions on losing the 60% PCDF and none passing of the budget, however, it’s doesn’t make any sense to us that even when the budget is passed but no service delivery intended to our people just like no budget at all apart from only the Ward Grant allocation which is Mandated for all Wards.

In summary, this issues raised is not just due to PCDF unfair distribution but its an issue of the ruling government and administration failure of addressing what matters the most to the province. Hence, most of our people are happy of our stand taken because they themselves also felt the same as left out from the Provincial system for so long and denied the rights to benefit from their resources and funds intended. Thus, this issues have been raised over and over again in the Assembly but fall in deaf ears, and to this conclusion we have no assurance of conviction that this government will take our concerns on board on behalf of our people unless or until change of government and administration leadership. Thank you all for your patience in waiting to hear our side of the story but we hope you’ve seen the real picture of our resignation. And again call on the Ministry of Provincial Government to investigate Central Province PCDF expenditures.

The issue to solve the PPAC grievances that leads up to resignation should already been solved if the Hon Premier himself listen to the Speakers Office and humbly handle the situation in an amicable way but instead too emotional and pride to listen for advises, and to the extent harshly approaches everyone that wants to help in solving the issue once and for all, resulting in none passing of the budget. On this note, who to blame? Because we the PPAC sick and tired of the old fashion politics the Province played and if all that we have raised to the Executive governments address then there should not be any resignation at the first place, and it’s a merely cover up to say that this government is a listening government which doesn’t reflect it at all, and that’s the root cause of our resignation and nothing will change our stand as resigned PPAC. The issue to solve the PPAC grievances that leads up to resignation should already been solved if the Hon Premier himself listen to the Speaker’s Office and humbly handle the situation in an amicable way but instead too emotional and pride to listen for advises, and to the extent harshly approaches everyone that wants to help in solving the issue once and for all, resulting in none passing of the budget. On this note, who to blame? Because we the PPAC are sick and tired of the old fashion politics the province plays and if all that we have raised to the Executive governments address then there should not be any resignation at the first place, and it’s a merely cover up to say that this government is a listening government which doesn’t reflect it at all, and that’s the root cause of our resignation and nothing will change our stand as resigned PPAC.

Premier’s Comment

When asked Premier Manetiva said they have the right to express their views adding his government is preparing to have its budget meeting next month.

Below the initial story of by the Premier which the MPAs’ are responding to.

Manetiva appalled at MPAs’ resignation in 11th hour causing CIP to lose 60% of PCDF

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MAKIRA FARMERS CELEBRATES OPENING OF CEMA BUYING CENTER

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A coconut plantation in Makira

Makira-Ulawa farmers have welcomed the opening of the Province’s main Commodities Export Marketing Authority (CEMA) buying center at Pakera in Central Makira last week.

The Revival of CEMA now trading as Solomon Commodities signaled a new era for farmers throughout the Province whose incomes depend largely on cocoa, copra and other commodities.

As one of the leading producers of these commodities, Makira Ulawa province is set to increase production that will eventually improve the livelihood of farmers and their families.

Makira Premier Julian Maka’a said his people are truly excited with these latest developments that fulfills his Government’s wish to see people re-engaged in the production of these vital commodities.

“I thank the DCGA for driving the revitalization of CEMA which is a very important initiative for our commodities such as cocoa, copra and other newly listed commodities including kava, noni, seaweed and timber,” Premier Maka’a said.

Maka’a said the opening of the Pakera buying center will no doubt trigger other commercial developments in the Province, which will eventually improve the livelihood and wellbeing of his people.

As one of the flagship policy programs of the DCGA, CEMA is reopening buying centers at selected sites around the country in coming months.

Last year, Prime Minister Sogavare opened the Noro buying center for Western Provincial Farmers.

Besides Pakera in Makira Ulawa Province, other centers that are set for reopening are the Auki and Malu’u buying centers in Malaita Province and other sites in Isabel, Choiseul and Central Islands Province.

The Pakera buying center is expected to begin buying commodities towards the end of May when office staff are sent there.

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Premier Mesepitu acknowledges Australia for support to Noro Port

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Noro

The Premier of Western Province, Hon Christian Mesepitu, has expressed his most sincere acknowledgement and gratitude to the Government and people of Australia for their continuous support and affinity to the people of Solomon Islands, through its flagship Solomon Islands Infrastructure Program (SIIP).

He made those remarks in light of the recent signing of the MOU between SIIP and Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) to support the upgrade of the country’s second largest port in Noro, Western Province.

Under the MOU, SIPA will deliver a detailed design to increase the capacity and efficiency of Noro Port which processes both domestic and international shipping, including passenger, freight and fishing fleets.

Mesepitu notes the priority placed on the need to not only meet international ports standard but to also increase the capacity of the current facility so as to cater for increased services and also reduce costs in terms of lead time and other associated costs.

 

He observed that learning from previous experiences, Honiara can no longer cater for international cargo and shipping requirements and services alone and given the lessons learned in the not-too-distant past, it is always good to have an alternative international sea port to cater for capacity and also to serve as an alternative port in the event of crisis.

Mesepitu noted that these are the sorts of investments that will have lasting impact not only on Western Province as host but the country overall, in terms of the facilitation of trade, imports/export services and other logistical services and arrangements.

With the Soltuna’s facility at Noro, it is anticipated that this development will further our premium tuna exports to lucrative markets in Europe and elsewhere. The opportunities recently discovered for our tuna products following the recent Dubai expo is a testament to our ability to be able to participate in the international market.

With approximately 85% of global trade moved by sea, the relationship between international seaports and the economy has become symbiotic or intertwined. Ports are traditionally perceived as global economic engines, trade facilitators, important points in the supply chain, access for the global transport network, as well as catalysts of regional development. It is in this light that Premier Mesepitu envisioned the economic benefits that will be generated from this development, not for Western Province only but for the entire country as a whole.

Mesepitu understands that being capital intensive, ports have a top priority for trade and economic improvement, as they lie in the transportation interface between land and water. Ports have become the core strategic resource to drive the regional economy within the context of globalization and trade boom and play a strategic role in regional economic development.

Mesepitu in welcoming the initiative rendered his appreciation and thanks to the government and people of Australia. He disclosed that Australia has been a true friend and he proudly acknowledges the Gizo main market as one of the first projects that Australia directly partnered with the provincial government to implement.

He also looks forward to the proposed multi-agency facility to be constructed at Shortlands to be another spine to this mutual relationship between the people of Australia and Solomon Islands.

The SBD8.5 million (AUD1.48 million) project was approved by SIIP’s joint Australia-Solomon Islands Steering Committee in March 2022, with the design expected to be completed by July 2023.

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  • Press Release
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 Gov’t says it recognises women leadership after appointment of Waetara as ambassador

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nor_soft

Government recognized the importance and value of women in leadership and the appointment of Jane Waetara as the country’s permanent representative to United Nations is a testament to that.

In a terse media statement the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC) said Mrs. Waetara deserves the new calling as she is one of the symbols of a true public servant.

The OPMC statement said Mrs. Waetara has accumulated immense experience in the public service yet she remains humble and serve her government, country and people with humility and respect.

The statement further added that Mrs. Waetara captured the essence of a true public servant as demonstrated by her unselfish devotion and commitment in the discharge of her duties in the public service.

“Her rise up the leadership ladder is meritorious and unequivocally in order,” the statement highlighted.

The OPMC statement added that Mrs. Waetara is a fine model for other young women who are aspiring to take up leadership roles in the future.

The statement further pointed out that the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) makes history in its political life for having four female Members of Parliament (MPs), of which two are ministers of the crown and the other two are government backbenchers.

The OPMC statement also added that since coming into power DCGA has appointed four female permanent secretaries in senior government ministries namely the ministries of Police and National Security, Health and Medical Services, National Planning and Aid Coordination, Agriculture and Livestock Development.

“Government has reaffirmed its support for women in leadership and will continue to give recognition to them as and when is due,” the statement concluded…… ENDS///.

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Police investigate sorcery related killing as houses also burnt

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Officers of the Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) at Tetere and Henderson Police Station are investigating a murder incident that has happened at Bulokalai village in Aola area, East Central Guadalcanal on 10 May 2022.

Provincial Police Commander (PPC) Guadalcanal Province, Superintendent Edwin Sevoa said suspects have been identified in relation to the murder incident and police are working close with community leaders for their arrest.

It was alleged that the motive behind the murder was in relation to a sorcery incident that happened few days earlier before the killing.

Sevoa said retaliation to the sorcery case has resulted in four dwelling houses and a kitchen were burnt down to ashes.
He calls on the community not to take the law into their own hands as it might cause disharmony, disunity and loss of lives.

Sevoa further calls on his good people at Aola, especially those parties involved in the incident to stop and allow police to deal with the matter.
“This is a serious allegation and we need to put a stop and bring back peace to our people. I call on the suspects to voluntarily surrender yourselves to police officers. You will not hide and we know who you are. So please I kindly ask you to surrender to the police,” said PPC Sevoa.

A post mortem has been conducted to form part of the police investigation.

//End//

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UK Emergency Medical Team supports key health facilities

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Solomon Islands key health facilities on Malaita, Western and Choiseul provinces have been supported and equipped to respond to subsequent waves of COVID-19.

This was made possible through the UK Government’s deployment of its Emergency Medical Team (EMT) who were in the country over the last nine weeks. The UK Government-funded deployment includes experts in emergency medicine, critical care and risk communications and is managed by the British NGO UK Med.

The nine weeks have been busy for the UK EMT 10-member team as they have been supporting Kilu’ufi, Atoifi, Gizo, Taro and Sasamunga hospitals in getting them prepared for potential subsequent waves of COVID-19.

During their deployment, assessments have been conducted at these hospitals to review their capacity and identify areas where they can strengthen the overall capacity of local health facilities and national medical staff.

Following the assessments, the team conducted a Training of Trainers course on different ways to manage patients with COVID-19 for key health workers at the health facilities, helping to ensure a long-term impact of the team’s work.

A multi-disciplinary approach was used in conducting the training, where doctors, nurses, and other health staff were all teamed together for their training sessions. This has been important for integrating patient experiences and also can improve teamwork at the facilities.

The training sessions at Kilu’ufi including on-the-job mentoring took two weeks with an extended stay by three members of the team who have helped set-up a first of its kind High Dependency Unit (HDU) for the hospital last week.

At Gizo hospital, Western province, similar training session was conducted in the morning and afternoon for a week.

The training sessions conducted were: Respiratory Therapy 2 – included responding to deteriorating patients and recognising acute respiratory distress syndrome and acute hypoxemic respiratory failure.

Another, Respiratory therapy 2 – included initiation escalation and weaning of oxygen therapy with skills session was also conducted along with COVID-19 therapeutics and clinical care (case management), COVID-19 special situations in pregnancy and children.

Other training sessions also included COVID-19 IPC-passing points (infection prevention and control), ‘donning and doffing’ and hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene with skills sessions, triage (sorting of patients based on symptoms) and the role of physiotherapy in COVID-19. These sessions have been critical in protecting both staff and patients.

The team trained a total of 122 frontline health workers to support their response to COVID-19. After identifying a lack of access of information, or in some places disinformation, on COVID-19 prevention and vaccination, they also met with 58 community leaders as part of their community outreach to help make reliable and accessible information more readily available.

Three members of the team stayed as part of an extended deployment at Kilu’ufi hospital, Malaita province, over the past two weeks and are now back in the UK.

ENDS///

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Acting New Zealand High Commissioner impressed by the Aruligo Tilapia project

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Honiara 12 May 2022: Acting New Zealand High Commissioner, Don Higgins was impressed with the progress made at the Aruligo Tilapia project when he and his staff visited the project site on Thursday 12th May 2022.

His Excellency Higgins attended the ground breaking ceremony three years ago when the site was still overgrown with trees and shrubs.

“I have been involved in Aruligo Tilapia Hatchery project from the beginning of the project and it’s good to come back three years later, just to see how much has been done over the time that I have been away”.

“It’s a fantastic project, it’s good to see so much local expertise here and it’s a great partnership between New Zealand, the Solomon Islands government and the Ministry of Fisheries”.

“There was nothing here, there were no tanks here, all this is grown up in the time that I’ve been away, you got the solar project here done by a local company which is really good to see its environmentally friendly, it’s good to see the ponds here with the local involvement and training of the farmers so very excited about the project. A lot of progress,” his Excellency Higgins said.

“Absolutely, it’s a project we can all be proud of and hopefully when our Minister comes here we can bring her here, as the project here is a concrete example of the work that New Zealand and Solomon Islands do together”, he said.

Deputy Secretary Corporate Services, Mr Patteson Lusi who was on site to receive Acting High Commissioner and his staff praised them for taking time out to visit a major project funded by their Government.

He conveyed MFMR’s appreciation to the New Zealand Government and also for the invitation to be part of the team visiting the project at Aruligo.

Following a brief introductory session, the visitors were taken on a site visit to see for themselves some of the ponds currently under construction, the solar facility and other structures before they were briefed by Mr. Maxwell, a local who is involved in breeding Mozambica tilapia species.// End

 

 

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NZ hands over $59.6m facilities to HCC

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A view from the new Youth Hub looking towards the multi-sports court.

New Zealand Government supports Honiara City Council with upgraded new facilities for young people

 Aotearoa New Zealand, in partnership with the Honiara City Council (HCC), has completed upgrades to Honiara’s Multi-Purpose Hall and its surrounding facilities to the value of NZ$11.5 million (SBD$59.6 million), in order to provide improved access to sports, cultural, and support services to young people in Honiara. Honiara has a very high population of young people, and supporting their active involvement within their communities and wider society is important for the future of Solomon Islands.

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(L-R) Honiara City Council Lord Mayor, Hon. Eddie Siapu, Acting NZ High Commissioner Don Higgins, and the Minister for Home Affairs, Hon. Chris Laore cutting the ribbon to officially open the upgraded Multi-Purpose Hall and its surrounding facilities.

During the official handover ceremony, Acting New Zealand High Commissioner, H.E. Don Higgins said that Aotearoa New Zealand recognises the importance of young people as the future leaders and change-makers of Solomon Islands.

“I am delighted to be able to support Honiara City Council through these upgrades to the Multi-Purpose Hall facilities. Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to supporting young people in Solomon Islands to harness their full potential and access opportunities for growth.”

The Acting High Commissioner also announced that Aotearoa New Zealand’s partnership includes a 5 year co-funding commitment with HCC to ensure that these facilities are managed and maintained sustainably.

Minister for Home Affairs, Hon. Chris Laore, and the Honiara City Council Lord Mayor, Hon. Eddie Siapu, spoke during the ceremony and expressed their sincere gratitude to Aotearoa New Zealand and its people for the support. They emphasised the importance of looking after the new facilities, which will also be used as a sports training facility in preparation for the 2023 Pacific Games.

The upgrades include a new Youth Hub building, an outdoor performance stage, refurbished outdoor netball and basketball courts, and a new multi-sports courts for futsal, tennis and volleyball. It also includes the extension to the existing hall, which contains a gym and exercise room, changing rooms and showers, offices and conference rooms, and a new reception and cafeteria.

A unique part of this partnership between Aotearoa New Zealand and Honiara Council was the involvement of young people from conception through to completion. Young people were consulted throughout the project design, were provided employment opportunities during the construction, and are core members of the governance committee.

Previous funding from Aotearoa New Zealand also supported upgrades to the Honiara City Council Women’s Training Centre, installation of the Tamariki Playground, and the construction of accessible toilets for people with disabilities on the Multi-Purpose Hall site.

  • Press Release-

 

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RSIPF signs MoU with and SIFIU and Immigration

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Right-Director Solomon Islands Immigration Division Mr Chris Akosaua RSIPF Commissioner Mr Mostyn Mangau and Director Solomon Islands Financial Intelligence Unit (SIFIU) Mr Jimmy Sendersley

 

The Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding between Solomon Islands Financial Intelligence Unit (SIFIU) and Solomon Islands Immigration Division.

The purpose of the MoU is to set out the framework between RSIPF, SIFIU and Immigration Division in relation to cooperation for information exchange and enforcement of Solomon Islands legislation and regulation pertaining to transnational crime.

The detail on agreement between parties involved in the signing of the MoU are,

  • Exchange information, including intelligence, relevant to meeting the objectives of the MoU. More detailed arrangements for information exchange may be detailed with an exchange of letters under this MoU.

 

  • Exchange information either on request or of their own initiative, relevant to their respective functions and responsibilities.

 

  • Designate positions to undertake the exchange of information and intelligence under this MoU. Each party will supply the list of its designated positions to the other party.

 

  • Prescribe requirements for requesting information.

 

  • Exchange information pursuant to this MoU in accordance with privacy and secrecy provisions of any Act of the Solomon Islands.

 

  • Protect any information provided by another party from unauthorized access or disclosure.

 

  • Comply with any conditions, restrictions or caveat imposed by the other party in respect of the handling or disclosure of information.

 The MoU will be reviewed after four years, or in the event any dispute arises.

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