A joint monitoring visit was conducted by SIG and PRC at Simbo/Ranongga and South Vella La Vella Constituency between 11-13th May 2021. This is part of PRC monitoring activity to ensure support provided benefit our rural people. This visit is the first of its kind and the Ministry of Rural Development is indebted to the Peoples Republic of China through the Chinese Embassy in Honiara and OPMC through Project Management Implementation Unit for taking the initiative to provide oversight and also ensure this support is implemented as planned.
The delegation comprises of four staff from the Ministry of Rural Development led by the Deputy Secretary Technical Hugo Hebala, Dr Samson Viulu from the Prime Minister’s office, and three officials from the Chinese Embassy led by Councillor Rui Gong. The delegation conducted a week-long monitoring visit with a project hand-over that covers Ranongga Simbo and South Vella Constituencies.
Since establishing bilateral relationship with the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) in 2019, PRC has provided funding support towards the Rural Constituency Development program with an annual budget support of $90million per year. This monitoring visit, therefore, was purposely to visit and hand over projects that are funded by PRC under 2020 RCDF funding.
The delegation first visited the Tubi Clinic project in Ranongga/Simbo constituency in Legana Village, Ward 3, Simbo Island. The project includes cost-sharing/partnership with the RSC and other stakeholders (WPG, Simbo community in Honiara, etc.) for the renovation and expansion of the old clinic.
The newly refurbished clinic now caters for a consultation room, general outpatients, labor, children’s ward, and pharmacy includes refrigerator for storage of vaccines, sanitation, and different rooms for sick men and women admitted to the clinic.
Accessing quality health services remains one of the key priorities of the national government. Thus for this project, Simbo/Ranongga constituency has allocated about 300k under its PRC support towards Tubi Clinic in Simbo.
The second visit was conducted on the Water and Sanitation Projects in Marawa, Kolomali, and Koriovuku communities in Ward 5, Ranongga Island. The communities now have proper water supply and each household have their sanitation facility. The Ministry of Health & Medical Services and the WPG declared No Open Defecation (NOD) at Marawa Community. The success of the water and sanitation project leads to improve community health.
The successful implementation of these sanitation projects stem from the partnership arrangement between Ranongga Simbo Constituency, the above identified communities and a local business involved in the construction of culverts and customized toilet pans. Ranongga/Simbo Constituency allocated $ 282,000.00 under its PRC budget for this water and sanitation program.
Sanitation remains a serious concern for most villages and communities in the Solomon Islands, however, this year 2021 PRC through its funding support has requested all 50 Constituencies to allocate 25% of their Constituencies ($1.8m) annual budgets purposely to fund WASH projects.
The delegation also visited Koriovuku Area Health Centre where the Constituency Development Officer for Ranongga Simbo Constituency has pledged to fund the renovation and extension works for the existing AHC clinic building under its PRC budget allocations for 2021. This is well received by the nursing officer manning the AHC.
The delegation then travelled to South Vella la Vella Constituency where the team has the opportunity to hand over a new coconut crushing mill and a copra shed in Liapari, Vonunu. This project costs $900,000.00. In delivering her remarks, Councillor Rui Gong from the Chinese Embassy highlighted its Government’s commitment to see economic and social development streamed line down to the rural communities to improve the livelihood of rural Solomon Islanders. In response, the Constituency Development Officer for SVC has highlighted that the current development site has been identified to serve as the constituency’s economic hub once all basic infrastructures are in place. Currently, the mill is in full operation and is a major source supplier of desiccated coconut to certain outlets in Honiara.
As part of the final itinerary item, the delegation also has the opportunity to visit the Barakoma airstrip which is also undergoing rehabilitation works currently funded under the rural constituency development fund and soon to be reopened once all aviation requirements are met.
The first Joint Delegation for the PRC and the SIG (PMO and MRD) visit to RSC and SVC in Western Province was a success. This visit clearly reinforces both governments commitments to rural development and more so transparency and accountability to public funds expended under the rural constituency development fund. PRC being a key development partner providing funding support through the CDF programme is pleased to witnessed first-hand development projects implemented through their funding support.
With the first visit now completed, the delegation is now planning for similar visitation to be conducted to other Constituencies once all arrangements are in place and finalised.