A monitoring team from the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) has successfully concluded its week-long assessment and verification of Constituency Development Fund (CDF) funded projects in South Choiseul Constituency on 30th September, 2022.
The team comprised of a team leader who is also the MRD Principal Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Officer Agnes Bopi. Tanihorara, Data officer Anneth Rianafaka and the Project Officer for South Choiseul Constituency Ms. Caroline Galo.
The team monitored/assessed most of the 2021 CDF-funded projects and conducted awareness to inform constituents on the importance of the monitoring activity on CDF-funded projects. They also informed constituents on the current reforms and programs undertaken by MRD towards improving the current systems and processes of the CDF implementation programs.
The team departed Honiara – Taro via Solomon Airlines on 24th September, 2022 and travelled to Sasamunga early the next day where they commenced a one-week long field monitoring and awareness visit until 30th September 2022.
The awareness programs focused on three main areas;
Rural communities were informed that monitoring of CDF projects is one of key mandates/responsibilities of MRD under the CDF program to fosters;
Important thoughts were shared by rural people in relation to the overall management and administration of the CDF program as administered by MRD.
Team Leader and M&E Officer Agnes Tanihorara said the monitoring and awareness activities were very successful.
“Most of the rural communities participated in the awareness sessions has acknowledged MRD for undertaking the two important initiatives/reform programs – the development of the first ever Solomon Islands Constituency Development (SICD) Policy and a standard CDF M&E Framework, especially to the current MRD senior management team under the Leadership of the current Permanent Secretary Dr. Samson Viulu.”
Florence Sumakana from Sasamuga village in her remarks during the awareness session highlighted that even though it’s a short session, it was paramount in clarifying all their doubts and misunderstandings towards CDF program that had been there for decades.
The team was fortunate to have a prominent Choiseul rep at the awareness at Posarae village, the former Premier for Choiseul Province Hon. Harrison Benjamin.
Commenting on the overall development of CDF projects within his community, Former Premier Benjamin highly applauded the MRD team for such an outreach, especially to his community at Posarae.
In his remarks, he highlighted important points he thought should be included in the current SICD Policy. These include; sustainability of CDF funded projects, inclusion of Ward Development Committee (WDC) in the CDF Program committee set up, formula of expenditure per sectors (quota), and the proper identification of sectors and activities included.
The former Premier then acknowledged the MP for South Choiseul Hon. Sammy Galo for his continuous support towards his people of Posarae village, especially to the vulnerable ones.
Principal M&E officer Agnes Bopi. Tanihorara assured communities of SCC that all the queries and suggested recommendations put forward for MRD considerations already captured in the current reform (SICD Policy Development).
Communities were also informed of the current nationwide consultations that MRD is undertaking towards the development of the much-needed Policy/Regulations on CDF program.
Mrs. Tanihorara said though they have limited timeframe, they managed to visit samples of 2021 projects sites.
“The team was overwhelmed to note the successful implementation of most CDF-funded projects within the South Choiseul communities. It was noted that there are number of projects which are currently on completion stages whilst others already completed through support from the South Choiseul Constituency through MRD under the CDF program initiatives. MRD team was also very impressed of the communal assistance rendered by rural people towards their community projects.”
A chairman of the Tengegea community Willie Mula within the Wagina ward stated that, he has no words to express his happiness and acknowledgement to Hon. Sammy and his team for the great support towards their community hall (Maneaba).
He said that with the huge support given by the MRD through constituency office of SCC, both the SCC & MRD officers will be invited to attend the opening of the community hall (Maneaba) in November this year.
The M&E team was also fortunate to have visited several aquatic (sea-weed) farming around the Islands of Wagina which were supported by CDF in 2021 through SCC office.
“Seaweed farming is the main source of income for most people and families within the Wagina communities. We really acknowledged farmers for their strong commitment in maintaining their farms that would directly contribute to their livelihood and the national economy. Sea resources appeared to be the second largest foreign exchange earner so investing more support for effective and efficient sea-weed farming processes and management is important,” Mrs. Tanihorara.
A Women rep from Panarui village also acknowledged Hon. Sammy for the assistance of Timbers given to their current incomplete hall (Women’s Hall).
She further stated that they were looking forward to working closely with the constituency office under the leadership of Hon. Sammy to get more support for their building current progressive stage.
In appreciation of CDF projects delivered to respective communities last year specifically on education, community halls, individual housing projects, sanitation, health, tourism, income generating and so forth, the communities of Sasamunga and Posarae passed on their greetings to Hon. Sammy Galo, MP, his constituency officers, and the MRD PS and his staff.
With these achievements, MRD highly appreciated the alignment of implemented activities along with the SCC Development and Annual Work plans. The M&E team was able to consult with reps within communities to check and verify all 2021 CDF implemented projects.
The SCC priority areas for year 2021 include; Rural Family & Community Housing Improvement Program, Health, Agriculture, Tourism, Forestry, Women, Youth & Children, Fisheries, and Livelihood (Income generating Projects). The SCC office overarching plan is to support these developmental needs that would lead to more improved livelihood and living standard within all communities.
Rural communities were also encouraged by the MRD M&E team to work closely with their MP Hon. Sammy to move their constituency developmental aspirations forward.
The MRD team visiting the SCC noted that even though the challenges the country faced last year with regards to budget and for the SCC political issues (by-election), SCC office under the leadership of Hon. Sammy continue to deliver and implement its development programs towards improving social and economic livelihoods of its people in 2021. Even though of the fact that Hon. Sammy just came into parliament also last year 2021.This was revealed through in-depth assessment and personal interviewing from rural people and recipients.
The assessment also revealed that a good number of communities, families, and individual projects were supported last year under CDF program and were successful due to very strong community participations by communities and individuals.
The MRD team was very impressed of such communal assistance rendered by rural people in taking ownership of their projects.
MRD therefore commended SCC Office and their overall constituency management team for their outstanding performance in achieving these important developmental needs within their communities. The SC constituency among other constituency has also been congratulated by the MRD for its recognition on supporting people with special need through sanitation and housing projects assistance. This is one of core mandates of MRD and is specified under objective 9 of the Ministry current cooperate plan.
Such an outstanding performance by the South Choiseul Constituency will highly contributes to the achievements of important sustainable development goals, objectives, and programmes both at the national and international level.
– MRD Press