Uta and its surrounding communities in Tikopia were delighted after receiving development assistance to help build a 3-metre wall along the banks of Lake Vaeroto in response to continuous soil erosion caused by Lake Vaeroto and impact of climate change.
The materials for their project arrived in Tikopia on the 8th November 2022 by MV VATUD Star. A project delivery trip which took almost a month now to deliver the Temotu Vatud Constituency projects to Vanikoro, Utupua, Taumako (Duff Islands) and Tikopia.
Speaking on behalf of the communities, a teacher and community chairman Mr Joshua Nanalaoi said the soil erosion caused by Lake Vaeroto is becoming a threat to their survival.
“We have to move our homes inland because the lake is eating away the lake banks,” he said
He added that after cyclone Zoe hit them in 2002 Christmas period, they experience some changes with regards to their environment.
“Lake Vaeroto has continue to gradually wash away the soils.
“This has caused most of our families living near the lake to move further inland,” he added.
Mr Nanalaoi and some of the leaders have to find a solution which they initiated a project to build wall to block the lake water from eroding the soil.
The project was accepted by their communities and endorsed by their hierarchy before it was submitted to the Temotu Vatud Constituency Office in 2019.
But, due to impact of Covid-19 in the country since 2019 they were not able to receive their project materials.
He further stated that Tikopia is prone to cyclone and climate change impact affecting their small islands adding they believe that this project will have a positive impact to their lives and properties.
“Today on behalf of our chief and community leaders I want to thank the government through our Member of Parliament Honourable Freda Tuki and her office for giving us these much-needed materials to start our project.
“As a community we have been preparing for this project, we already did our part by collecting stones and other materials for this project,” he added.
Uta community project received more than 100 bag of cements, gabion nets, mesh wires and wheelbarrows.
Mr Nanalaoi also appreciated the DCGA government through the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) for their significant contribution towards Rural development.
“We believe that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) will continue to benefit us in the rural areas.
“We want to see that this funding under the CDF program through MRD must continue but with more stringent measures,” Mr Nanalaoi told MRD Communications Officer Andrew Fanasia Jr in Tikopia.
They also thanked the Government of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) for contributing to the CDF program.
“It is one of the very few funds that reach us directly in the rural areas”, said Mr Nanalaoi.
Meanwhile MV VATUD Star started unloading project materials in Tikopia since 8th November 2022 which took them a week to complete.
The delivery include projects for last year (2021) which cost over $4 million and this year (2022) costing 2 million plus bringing total funding of more than $6 million in CDF projects.
MRD vision is to see every Rural Solomon Islanders become meaningfully participated in development activities to improve their social and economic livelihood.
CDF is co-funded by the Governments of Solomon Islands and Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and rolled out by the Ministry of Rural Development through the fifty constituencies.
– MRD Press