Tourism Solomons Hopeful of More Chinese Tourists
Quoting the Solomon Times on Line – 4 November 2019
“Tourism Solomons CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto, has expressed his hopes the country’s official friendship with China will act as a catalyst for increased growth within the key tourism sector.
“Speaking to Chinese media representatives in Honiara to follow the recent visit by a Chinese government mission, CEO Tuamoto said the advent of the new relationship with China offered a two-pronged opportunity.
“Firstly, he said, the development would signal a marked increase in profile for the Solomon Islands which hopefully will eventually lead to good numbers of Chinese visitors arriving in the near future, and particularly divers given the sport’s popularity in mainland China.
“Secondly, he hoped the relationship will prove a catalyst for increased tourism -related investment, and particularly hotel bed inventory, a factor that has continued to hamstring the country’s ability to attract and manage increased numbers of international visitors.
“The Solomon Islands government, he said, is looking to the tourism sector to attract 60,000 visitors annually by 2025, in the process netting the country’s economy SBD1 billion.
“Until we have at least 700 quality rooms available for sale, our industry will continue to be constrained and hopes of reaching the SBD1 billion target set by government will be difficult to achieve.”
Copyright @ 2019, Solomon Times on Line.
Measles epidemic: Samoa's govt mobilises resources
Quoting Radio New Zealand – 4 November 2019
“Samoa's Ministry of Health is consolidating its resources to better deal with the current measles epidemic, following three deaths that are highly suspected to be from measles.
“Samoa's government declared a measles epidemic in mid-October.
“Two young children and a man, 37, have died, after clinical signs indicated they had measles.
“Ministry chief executive Leausa Dr Take Naseri said a number of clinics had been closed to focus resources around the epidemic.
"We have modified our operations. We have closed down most of our general outpatient clinics so that we can mobilise - so staff can focus more on the alarming rates of the public that is coming in."
“He was concerned about the outbreak and parents were encouraged to get their children protected via vaccination, Leausa said.
"They have to get the children vaccinated. We have to improve our coverage, get everybody vaccinated," he said.
"If you are unsure, it is better to get vaccinated, especially the children. Fifty [years old] and up, I know most of the people, that was the time when the coverage of vaccinations in Samoa was very good."
Copyright @ 2019, Radio New Zealand.
3 November 2019
Solomon Islands: Navigating rights and custom practices in development operations and projects.
It has been reported, today, in an article I read in the Solomon Star newspaper, that Chinese investors are urged to respect the laws and customs of the people of the Solomon Islands.
“The advice came from the Envoy for China-Pacific Islands Forum Dialogue Wang Xuefeng.
“Xuefeng explained that the Chinese Government is encouraging their competitive and credible companies to make investments in other countries.
“But we strongly emphasis and urge them they must respect the laws and regulations of the host country and more so they must abide by the international rules.
“And we also remind them that apart from complying and respecting the local laws they must also respect the culture and local customs,” Xuefeng said.
“He further emphasized that only in this way any business can be sustainable and prosper.
“Xuefeng said that Chinese Government always encourages the Chinese companies to repay the local communities in terms of supporting their local needs.”
In terms of the MOU’s signed by the Prime Minister in Beijing recently, China committed to furthering the development and infrastructure of the Solomon Islands, very much like the US had similarly undertaken.
Some of the USA’s initiatives were hampered and prevented from getting off the ground due to land disputes, according to the retiring US Ambassador to the Solomon Islands, H.E. Catharine Ebert-Gray.
How then, given China’s assurances of respecting the laws and customs of the Solomon Islands, will China do any better than the USA managed to achieve when land rights and land ownership issues continue to impede developments at home?
With something as vitally important as the landing of the Coral Sea Cable to provide fast internet to the Solomon Islands there have already been challenges brought by landowners and one challenge still unresolved.
In the recent past landowner disputes have flared in respect of the Gold Ridge Mine, in the location and operation of air strips, in the logging and forestry industry, in mining and even at the Tina River Hydro Project.
I very much hope for the future and well being of all in the Solomon Islands that development and infrastructure inroads will proceed without undue upset and hindrance, and rights observed by all parties.
4 November 2019
Solomon Islands: Good tiding of great joy!
Advancing the theme and spirit of Christmas by a few weeks, I want, today, to bring you details of two scheduled events which, to me and I suspect those involved with the administration of the National Referral Hospital (NRH) and the local Solomon Islands Piano Association (PASI), will bring joyful news.
My partner charity in New Zealand, ‘Take My Hands.’ loaded 27 hospital beds into a 20 foot container over the weekend and the container is expected to depart this week from Wellington, destined for Honiara and the NRH.
The container is the last of the containers that the SFA supported and donated funds for in 2018.
I would wish to take the opportunity of expressing my profound thanks to the Chairman and Board Members of the SFA for responding to the original appeal I made and also for supporting past appeals which resulted in many other hospital beds and mattresses reaching the under-resourced and over-stretched NRH.
I should mention, too, my gratitude to the SFA for responding to an appeal for the Hearts of Hope (HoH Charity based in Malaita.
Some 90 boxes of clothing items and footwear were delivered to HoH as a result.
Take My Hands Charity in New Zealand does outstanding work helping the Solomon Islands with donated medical equipment and supplies whenever donations can be generated to guarantee shipping the supplies.
The second piece of good news relates to the pending arrival in Honiara of the talented group of UK musicians willing to fly out to Honiara and help the local young people that are members of the Solomon Islands Piano Association (PASI)
The UK musicians are known as the Dionysus Ensemble in Residence for the Commonwealth, being the only professional performing musicians appointed to the Commonwealth, with headquarters at the Commonwealth Institute in London.
The Dionysus Ensemble has been raising funds in the UK and getting sponsorship to undertake the help on offer for PASI and we must feel very honoured to have such talented and highly regarded musicians willing to make the journey to the Solomon Islands and to give free tuition to PASI members and the instruction staff.
It is my understanding that the Dionysus Ensemble visit will take place over the New Year period.
Good news all round at the beginning of the season of goodwill – and I thank all concerned for helping the Solomon Islands.
Schools re-thinking Plastic
Quoting the Solomon Star newspaper – 3 November 2019
“FIVE schools in Honiara have completed a trial on the alternative use of single use plastic which aims to provide insight on how behaviour influences habits regarding waste management.
“Over 13 weeks, the schools – Koloale, Florence Young, Emmaus, Honiara Senior High School and St. Nicholas College tested interventions to reduce plastic waste generated during school lunch periods.
“The schools trialed a refundable-fee scheme which involved lunch vendors or the school canteen serving lunches in reusable containers.
“Under this scheme, students were refunded a small amount if they returned the containers after finishing their lunch.
“A discount scheme was also introduced where students paid slightly less for lunch packs if they brought a reusable container from home.
“The School Re-thinking Plastic initiative is testing a new approach to waste management by providing an enabling environment for young people to take practical steps to replace single use plastic with reusable alternatives. Importantly, the initiative will provide the Government with valuable insights to address waste management in the country in the future,” said Berdi Berdiyev, Country Manager, UNDP Solomon Islands.”
Copyright @ 2019, Solomon Star News.