Navigating Honiara traffic congestion with planned transformation
A light hearted look at the situation.
Often when stuck in traffic hold-ups in Bangkok I often think of similar conditions in Honiara and imagine vehicle users there would wish to transport themselves more quickly and easily during their daily commute.
Perhaps the day might come when one could whisk around in a personal drone. I expect not in my lifetime but the reality is technology is advancing fast and already several passenger carrying drones have made the news.
Quoting ‘Engineers Australia’ I read, quote.
“A drone big enough to carry a human passenger is now reality, with China-based manufacturer Ehang displaying a 200 kg drone capable of the feat at the CES technology trade show in Las Vegas.
“A scaled up version of the remote controlled drones common today, the Ehang 184 Autonomous Aerial Vehicle utilises the standard quadcopter design, with a cabin that seats one person. A Microsoft Surface tablet/computer acts as its console.
“The craft itself is made of a composite material developed and manufactured in-house, consisting of carbon fibre, epoxy, and aerospace grade aluminium alloy.
“Entirely battery-operated, the lithium-ion battery makes up much of the weight of the drone, but provides sufficient power to fly a load of 100 kg up to 23 minutes at sea level, reaching maximum heights of 500 m, and average cruising speeds of 100 km/h.
“The Ehang 184 aerial vehicle is equipped with eight motors, with two for each of the four armatures and propellers, giving a maximum output of 106 kW.
“According to Ehang, it engineered the drone for safety, with full systems redundancy. If one set of power systems fails, the vehicle is still able to operate a normal flight plan to ensure the safety of the passenger. If the drone detects componentry malfunctioning or disconnecting, it will automatically land in the nearest possible area. To prevent the remote signal from being hijacked, communications is encrypted, with each unit having its own independent key.
“For all intents the purposes, the Ehang 184 remains a remotely operated drone, with the passenger inside having no direct control over its route. Rather, the drone is pre-programmed to fly to specific destinations.
“However, Ehang says the passenger can temporarily take over the aircraft in case of an emergency, in order to land the drone.”
So much for wishful thinking and back to the reality of the Honiara traffic situation.
Ben Bilua writing in the Island Sun newspaper today, Friday, said, quote.
“The Road Transport Board is planning to carry out a major transformation to the transport system within Honiara city.
“In an interview with this paper yesterday, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Chair of the Road Transport Board Mr. Stephen Maesiola said the Road Transport Board already met twice this year and had mapped out its plans.
“He said first on the list is to carry out public awareness on commuters and also bus drivers as well as owners.
Maesiola said the purpose of the awareness is to let the public and transport operators know the roles and responsibilities of the Road Transport Board.
“We are looking at reviewing the existing transport system in Honiara to a better system. Among our plans are to install traffic signs and designated bus stop.
“It will be a huge undertaking and that we need to inform the public, bus owners and drivers about what they expect when we enforce our operation,” he explained.
“Maesiola said the awareness programme will probably kick off early next year depending on the availability of funds.
“When asked about the issue of short bus route, he said the issue of short bus route is one of the priorities that the board will address when enforcement of operations roll out.
“Maesiola said there will be penalties designated for breaching traffic rules and regulations endorsed by the Board.
“We came up with lots of ideas to address the short bus routine plus other traffic offences.
“Some of the idea is that, there will be designated time for each bus to stop at certain bus stops and buses must take the designated routine legally recognised by law.
“Driver’s will see their licence striped, buses will be restricted to operate for certain months etc,” he said.
“The RTB is the legal body that legally mandated by the Traffic Amendment Act 2009. The Board is responsible to administer and better enforcement of traffic laws.
“The power given to the Board include on-the-spot fines, appointment of enforcement officers and undertaking of prosecutions in the Magistrates’ Courts by officers of the Board for minor offences.
“The functions of the Board as stipulated under the Traffic Amendment Act 2009 are (a) To formulate, implement, monitor and review policies in relation to road transport, in conjunction with the functions of the Ministry to formulate nation transport policy; (b) To coordinate the implementation, administration and enforcement of this Act; (c) To prepare and submit quarterly reports to the Minister on the implementation, administration and enforcement of this Act; (d) To submit to the Minister any information in relation to this Act, if so required by the Minister; and (e) Other functions given to it under this Act or any other written law.”
Samoa's measles outbreak: 'Worst to come'
Quoting Radio New Zealand – 15 November 2019
“The worst is still to come in Samoa's measles epidemic, according to the country's top health official.
“There have now been six confirmed deaths and more than 700 suspected measles cases, with 15 people in intensive care.
“Samoa's Director General of Health, Leausa Dr Take Naseri, said low immunisation coverage had left around a third of the population at risk.
“Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, he suggested more deaths would likely follow.
"The way it is going now and the poor coverage, we are anticipating the worst to come."
“Meanwhile, New Zealand is sending vaccines and nurses to Samoa to help the country tackle its worsening measles outbreak.
“Foreign Minister Winston Peters said that at the request of the Samoan government, New Zealand would provide 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines and 12 nurses to help contain the "serious and growing" outbreak.
“The outbreak in the Pacific is also sweeping Tonga, Fiji, and American Samoa, which yesterday declared a public health emergency requiring all visitors coming from Samoa or Tonga to provide proof of MMR immunisation”
Copyright @ 2019, Radio New Zealand
Visit of H.R.H. Prince Charles to the Solomon Islands.
Quoting the Solomon Times online – 15 November 2019
Preparation for the visit next week by His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles to Solomon Islands is well underway.
His Royal Highness will arrive on the evening of Saturday 23rd November for a two days visit before departing on the evening of Monday 25th November
This will be The Prince of Wales’ first visit to Solomon Islands.
His Royal Highness’s programme will focus on climate change and ocean governance where he will launch “Solomon Islands National Ocean Policy” and the “Malaria Elimination Roadmap” at Lawson Tama stadium before visiting the Headquarter of the Forum Fisheries Agency.
.During the visit, His Royal Highness will attend a special Church service at the Saint Barnabas Anglican Cathedral on Sunday before meeting the Governor General His Excellency, Sir David Vunagi at Government House where he will administer an Investiture ceremony for a number of local recipients.
His Royal Highness will also make a courtesy visit to the Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare at the Prime Minister’s Office before proceeding to lay a wreath in honor of the Solomon Islands Scouts and Coastwatchers’ at the Memorial at Commonwealth Street.
Copyright @ 2019, Solomon Times online.
15 November 2019
A new patrol boat to be named RSIPV Gizo.
Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Hon. Manasseh Sogavare accompanied by the Minister of Police, National Security and Correctional Services, Hon. Veke received a new Guardian Class Pacific Patrol Boat during a ceremony in Perth, Western Australia on Friday 8 November 2019.
The RSIPF was represented by the Deputy Commissioner (DC) for National Security and Operational Support, Mostyn Mangau.
“The new police patrol boat is a Guardian class Pacific Patrol Boat which is bigger than our existing patrol boat,” explained DC Mangau.
“The new Guardian Class Pacific Patrol Boat has a length of 39.5 metres, and a complement of 23 crew members. It is powered by two 5,400hp diesel engines, the vessel can travel 3,000 nautical miles at minimal speed. This new boat is purposely to conduct maritime surveillance and enforcement operations like fighting illegal fishing, search and rescue for distress boats, VIP escorts and other border operations,” said DC Mangau.
“On behalf of the RSIPF, I would like to thank the government and people of Australia for the gift of the new patrol boat. I would also like to thank the Australian Defence Program and Australian High Commission to Solomon Islands for making possible arrangements for the official handing over ceremony held in Perth, Western Australia last week.”
RSIPF Maritime officers, who are currently being trained on board the RSIPV Gizo in Perth, will sail the patrol boat to Solomon Islands and expected to arrive in Honiara by the middle of next month.
A formal welcome ceremony is being planned for the arrival of the new patrol boat to its new home, the Aola Patrol Base in Honiara.
Source: RSIPF Media Unit
Psalm 5:11 "Dear Lord, I Thank You for being the keeper of those who sail at sea. I ask that You grant them peace as they put their trust in You. I pray that sailors take refuge in You and also because You defend them. Father let the praises of each morning fill their hearts because of Your goodness. Spread Your protection over them and the ships that they sail. Let them rejoice in Your divine love and protection, this we ask, Amen.
Solomon Islands PM returns from Australian tour
Quoting the Solomon Star newspaper – 15 November 2019
“PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare has returned on Tuesday from his week long tour to Australia.
“Mr Sogavare travelled as guest of the government of Australia.
“The highlight of his official visit was receiving the Guardian Class Patrol Boat from the Australian Government, meeting with the Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy and Industrial Relations, Bill Johnston MLA from the Government of Western Australia.”
Copyright @ 2019, Solomon Star News.