The ‘voters-only system’ has caused much inconvenience throughout the 50 constituencies in the Solomon Islands which has hindered development possibly in some rural areas since the inception of the Rural Constituency Development Fund (RCDF).
But Marovo Constituency Development Officer (CDO), Tyson Ghera said “we need to break away from that mentality and unite our people in our respective constituencies to work together.”
“There’s no use when we want to talk about unity and yet we continue to practice the ‘voters-only system’,” he said.
Ghera said his office is working very closely with their Member of Parliament to do away with this system.
“We have struggled at the first year because of the pressure from our voters, but we managed to get over it,” he added.
The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) as the ministry responsible for administering of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) commended such a positive undertaking by Marovo Constituency Development Office and their MP.
CDF comes from the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) budget through its tax payers and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) as donor to support social and economic development activities in the rural communities.
The fund aims to generate income, encourage and bring about development in constituencies and generally to improve the livelihoods of all citizens of Solomon Islands and alleviate poverty.
CDO Ghera affirmed that his office will continue to try and assist all the Marovo constituents regardless of whether they vote or not.
“It will be a huge challenge for us because of the limited resources and a growing population.
“But we will try and do it because we want to unite our people to work together to develop Marovo constituency moving forward,” Ghera said.
He added with regards to their housing projects, student fees subsidy, medical assistance, etc, they try as much as possible to assist all. “Even during our livelihood assistance in April distributing bags of rice, we shared to everyone both voters and non-voters. Also, our sanitation projects will be for everyone.”
Mr. Ghera further thanked his people in Marovo constituency for their continuous support and patience towards his office and their MP.
“Whatever development project or support our office gets from SIG and other donors belongs to all Marovo people,” he added.
Mr. Ghera also commended Solomon Islands Government through MRD for managing and facilitating CDF for its intended purposes in the rural areas. He also thanked all tax payers of Solomon Islands and assured that Marovo Constituency is committed and will make sure RCDF is utilized and invested into projects that will benefit all people of the constituency and citizens of our beloved country.
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for Mavoro Constituency, Honourable Chachabule Amoi said Marovo lagoon has already been a very big one (constituency) more than almost all others, in terms of its geography and Population wise.
“Now that we also have our cross borders, it worsens the situation because we have to accommodate everyone in our development plans.
“RCDF amount is the same across all constituencies, so those like ours with larger population faces bigger challenges compared to most other constituencies. If only the allocations are calculated based on populations within the constituency it should be fair. Yet, despite all these we are very committed,” MP Amoi expressed.
MRD will continue to make sure that all rural Solomon Islanders must become meaningfully participated in development activities to improve their social and economic livelihoods.