South Guadalcanal Constituency remains committed towards improving livelihood and supporting rural development initiatives that will benefit every constituent in its constituency as it divulged its landmark achievements since 2020.
Hon. John Stewart, Member of Guadalcanal Provincial Assembly (MPA) for Duidui Ward said the achievements succeeded because the constituency office has utilized the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in accordance to its priority development programmes as specified in its approved 2019-2023 Development plan.
MPA Hon. Stewart is a key figure in assisting Hon. Rollen Seleso, Member of Parliament for South Guadalcanal Constituency (SGC) towards its development initiatives. He was interviewed by the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) Media in a recent radio program.
Hon. Stewart said SGC is inclusive in its development approach and its desire is to make sure everybody benefit from CDF, since the fund is meant for all and not just few or supporters of the current Member of Parliament.
At the same time, he said there are numerous significant and millstone achievements SGC has made over the short span of three years from 2019-2022 under the leadership of Hon. Rollen Seleso, MP.
These milestone achievements include;
Meanwhile, he said the SGC plan 2019-2023 was developed and successfully launched in July 2022 after series of village and community consultations in the last quarter of 2019.
“The plan set a roadmap for the constituency and that actually comes from the people themselves (constituents).
“Basically the development plan is hinged on three main thematic areas which are infrastructure, social and the productive sectors.
“So, SGC utilizes CDF government funding in accordance to its development programmes and priorities stated inside our development plan and approved by MRD.
“In terms of infrastructure we target transportation, communication, buildings including churches, community halls and housing scheme. In terms of social sector, we focus on health, water supply and sanitation, education, empowering existing community governance structures and peacebuilding.
“Regarding productive sector we are trying to create avenues for income generation, finding market links for products, and the revitalization of the coconut and cocoa industries as well as other cash crops. Ultimately the CDF is utilised according to the priority target areas as in the (our) development plan,” Hon. Steward emphasized.
“Within the first and second year, our constituency put importance on infrastructure projects which will benefit the whole communities. Priority is on the construction of churches, community halls and housing projects. The rationale here is to engage everyone in community projects/work to promote and teach people to cooperate and work together on projects so that the mentality can instil in them when they try to work on their individual projects,” he explained.
Hon. Steward added that in the third and fourth year the constituency focuses on social sector as well as micro projects and income generating projects.
“We are happy to say that with the acquisition of our constituency ship (MV Southern Coast 1) we can now meaningfully engage in those small income generating projects.”
However, Hon. Steward said that despite those achievements the constituency also has its own challenges.
“Hand-out mentality is one of the challenges. People turn to go more on individual needs. People see community projects as something that do not directly benefit them. So, we try to change that mindset by focusing more on communal projects to benefit everyone thereby create unity and cohesiveness”, he said.
“Transportation and logistics especially in terms of delivery is another challenge faced by SGC. But now that we have a ship available, I think we are about to overcome this challenge.
“Naturally, the weather pattern of South Guadalcanal is also one of the challenges and I think proper planning is an important aspect to overcome this challenge. Another challenge is delay of funds but it is something to do with the procurement processes of the government, so, we will have to just do with it.”
He said the reason why SCG is focusing more on supporting community projects is because they want everyone to directly benefit from those projects regardless of whether you vote for the current MP or not.
“Our MP is always inclusive in his approach regarding development initiatives in our constituency and he wants everyone to meaningfully participate in social and economic activities to improve their livelihoods because CDF is meant for everybody. The constituency is taking these approaches to avoid the voters-only syndrome employed by past leaders”.
Constituency Project Officer (CPO), Alista Teava said this year the constituency office is planning to increase the housing projects to 100 dwelling homes.
He then acknowledged SGC people for their patience, support and usual cooperation with Hon. MP Seleso and staff of the constituency office since 2019 to-date.
Hon. Rollen Seleso who is the Minister for the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS) is the current Member of Parliament for South Guadalcanal Constituency. He entered Parliament in 2019.
– MRD Press