Despite the challenges encountered in terms of Rural development, Taumako Islands in the VATUD Constituency, Temotu Province not yet forgotten by the government as it received the much-needed assistance through their Member of Parliament (MP) Honourable Freda Tuki for their church and community high school project.
Duff Islands are a small island group lying to the northeast of the Santa Cruz Islands of Temotu Province with Taumako Islands that form part of Duff the largest.
And as the latest beneficiaries of CDF programme, on Sunday 30th October 2022, MV VATUD Star arrived at Taumako Islands with the materials for St James Chapel, Mothers Union Hall and Tetoli Community High School.
The materials were off loaded on Tuesday 31st October and 1st November 2022.
Due to lack of wharf infrastructure the unloading was a bit of struggle for the vessel crews and community members who were there to help out with unloading of the project materials.
Parish Rector Fr Leslie Loku who received the materials on behalf of Taumako Parish was delighted, despite the challenges.
Fr loku on behalf of the Taumako Parish commended Temotu VATUD Constituency Office for the timely assistance.
“Our churches played a very vital role in maintaining peace and harmony in the community.
“We are so isolated and accessing basic government services is a huge challenge for us. But we thank the government through our MP Hon. Freda for the assistance.”
He said that churches also stand in the place of our Police force to maintain law and order adding such support to churches is worthy.
Fr Leslie further added that their Chapel was built in Tauhua an artificial Island since the first missionary arrived in Taumako (Duff Islands).
The St James Chapel was built using stones and lime to hold the stones like cement. They only change its roofing irons once during former MP Michael Maina leadership.
At that time Taumako Islands was part of Temotu Pele Constituency.
“We are so grateful today for this assistance from our current MP Honourable Freda Tuki.
“Thank you for prioritizing our churches not only in Taumako but the VATUD Constituency as a whole,” Fr Leslie added.
Ngauta community also shared the same sentiments after receiving their materials to build a Jacob ladder which will be used by students and teachers.
The Jacob ladder will replace a dangerous bush track along a steep slope from Ngauta Village to Tetoli Community High School located on the other side of the Island.
Total of 460 bags of cement were off loaded at Ngauta Village.
Ngauta Community leader and elder David thanked Temotu VATUD Constituency Office for the huge support.
“We are thankful that our MP supported such community projects and infrastructures which will continue to benefit our people as a whole,” he added.
Taumako Island current population on the island is less than 1000 people.
Constituency Development Officer Justin Faka Tanema thanked the people of Taumako Islands for their support and continuous cooperation towards the constituency office.
He admitted that shipping service is a huge challenge to VATUD Constituency.
“Since MV VATUD Star made its last trip in 2020 to the constituency this is its first trip back to the islands after the Covid-19 pandemic,” Tanema said.
He further stated that his office and their MP will continue to work closely with every communities in Temotu VATUD Constituency to address their development aspirations.
CDO Justin on behalf of the constituency and its peoples thanked the DCGA and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) for not forgetting their people despite their very remoteness.
The ship left Taumako Islands (Duff Islands) on Tuesday 1st November to Utupua.
MRD Communications Officer Andrew Fanasia Jr. also currently travelling in MV VATUD Star to get information on the ground on how the CDF projects were utilised on the ground.
Mr. Fanasia also use the opportunity to talk to rural communities in Temotu VATUD Constituency about the vision, objectives and mandates of MRD.
The Temotu VATUD Constituency project delivery will be completed in Anuta Island, the last Island in the Eastern border of Solomon Islands.
MRD vision is all Solomon Islanders become meaningfully participated in development activities to improve their social and economic livelihood.
CDF program is jointly funded by the Governments of Solomon Islands and Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and has been a lifesaver for most of the rural communities in the country.
– MRD Press