Temotu VATUD Constituency Development Officer Justin Faka Tanema has commended communities in VATUD Constituency for their unwavering support and cooperation with his constituency office team members that ensued in the successful delivery of projects in the constituency since 22 October, 2022.
Due to the remoteness of the five (5) main islands (Vanikoro, Anuta, Tikopia, Utupua & Duff) which made up the Constituency (VATUD) in the eastern remote part of Solomon Islands, the challenge was it took a month to load MV VATUD Star in Honiara with project materials for 2020 to 2022.
“Most of the projects which supposed to be delivered in 2020 and 2021 could not be delivered as expected due to the Covid-19 restrictions in 2019. This has caused a huge challenge for our office and VATUD Constituency as a whole. But that does not wither our commitment to support and deliver services to our constituents to improve their livelihoods,” CDO Tanema said.
The journey to deliver the much-needed projects in VATUD Constituency started on Saturday 22nd October 2022.
The vessel stopped over at Nukukaisi in Makira Province on Sunday 23rd October and left on Tuesday 25th October 2022 for Lata, Temotu Provincial Headquarter. Nukukaisi is a settlement in Makira Province where most of the Vatud registered voters especially Tikopia people are residing with proximity to access basic government services that are inaccessible in their community due to the remoteness of their Islands.
The unloading of VATUD Constituency project materials began on Duff Islands on 30th October to 1st November 2022.
In Duff Islands most projects are community projects.
CDO Tanema thanked Ngauta and other surrounding communities for their prompt response.
“Hats off to the leaders, chiefs, women and youths for their huge support by helping MV VATUD Star crews to unload the materials.
“It is not that easy as we think. Unloading of bulky goods or materials when there is no proper wharf is a real challenge. Lack of wharf in the Islands has caused us to depend much on sea tides to move the materials from the ship through the reef and to the shore.
“Thank you very much on behalf of our Member of Parliament Honourable Freda Tuki and our Constituency Office,” CDO Tanema conveyed the appreciation.
The ship left Taumako (Duff Islands) and arrived in Nembao – Utupua on Wednesday 2nd November 2022 in the morning.
At around 12-1am between Duff Islands and Utupua a mother from Duff gave birth to a healthy baby boy in the midst of passengers on the vessel’s hatch.
The pregnant mother boarded the vessel to see her mother in Utupua.
Luckily the mother was assisted by Lata medical team which is also onboard MV Vatud Star. The medical team also toured VATUD Constituency as part of their health community outreach program.
VATUD Constituency under the CDF program supported Nembao clinic rest house by supplying building hardware materials for the clinic.
The vessel left Utupua late in the evening and arrived in Vanikoro, Savol Bay on the 3rd of November 2022.
The unloading of materials for church projects took two days before the vessel moved to Murivae another port in Vanikoro on the 5th of November 2022.
Murivae Anglican Church also received materials under CDF program for the completion of their church building.
CDO Tanema also applauded the church members and community members in both Savol Bay and Murivae for helping out in unloading of the materials under the scorching sun.
The vessel sails off Murivae late in the evening of Saturday 5th November 2022 and arrived in Tikopia on Sunday night 6th November 2022.
In Tikopia the unloading started on Monday 7th November 2022 and ended on Monday 14th November 2022, excluding Sunday.
A good number of community projects were earmarked for Tikopia since 2019 but cannot be implemented due to Covid-19 pandemic that struck the country in 2019.
According to CDO Tanema the MV Vatud Star 22 October trip was the first ever trip to the constituency after the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted making it possible for the constituency office to deliver project materials for year 2020 to 2022.
Mr. Tanema however expressed that a week-long of unloading in Tikopia has caused fatigue amongst the vessel crews.
“But thank you again to the communities, sports club and church members of both Faea and Rafenga villages for supporting our vessel crews. The community work has proved that nothing is impossible through working together and teamwork.”
He also added that despite the challenges they face in terms of development, their people still work together to achieve their development aspirations.
Tanema expressed his regret to the people of Anuta for not making it to their island due to Covid-19 alert from Lata medical authority. The health alert had caused the chief in Anuta to stop MV VATUD Star from landing at Anuta.
Mr. Tanema said he respected the Anuta chief’s decision but assured them that their projects will be shipped to them in any first available transport in due course. The same goes to some of the community recipients in Tikopia.”
Meanwhile project recipients in Temotu VATUD Constituency expressed their gratitude to their Member of Parliament for the timely development assistance.
The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) also sent their officer Andrew Fanasia to oversee the project delivery and also make MRD presence felt in the rural part of Eastern Solomons.
One of MRD’s core functions is to coordinate the work of the fifty (50) Constituencies in terms of the implementation of Constituency Development Programs towards advancing rural development and growth in our rural areas to improve livelihoods of all Solomon Islanders.
Also, one of MRD’s Communication and Public Relations Unit core functions is to reach out to our rural communities with factual information about the work of the Ministry.
CDO Tanema also appreciated MRD Permanent Secretary Dr Samson Viulu and his officers for continuous support to the VATUD Constituency and other Constituencies in the country through the CDF program.
“VATUD Constituency Office would like to thanked MRD Communication and Public Relations Officer Andrew Fanasia Jr for representing MRD throughout the project delivery trip.
“We appreciate the role he played by giving right information about MRD to our people and also experience the challenges our rural people continue to face today,” CDO Tanema added.
He further stated that Temotu VATUD Constituency Office will continue to work with MRD to implement the government policies in terms of Rural development.
MRD vision is to see every Rural Solomon Islanders become meaningfully participated in development activities to improve their social and economic livelihood.
CDF program is co-funded by the governments of Solomon Islands and Peoples Republic of China (PRC).
– MRD Press