Alleged spending on China-Taiwan review
Quoting the Solomon Star newspaper – 22 August 2019
“The Government will spend $6 million on the current review exercise set up to look into a possible switch in diplomatic ties from Taiwan to China.
“That’s according to Opposition leader Mathew Wale.
“Wale said on Wednesday that he got the $6 million figure from reliable sources within the government.”
Copyright @ 2019, Solomon Star News.
Solomons vote on Taiwan or China to wait until next year - former PM
Quoting Radio New Zealand – 22 August 2019
“The decision to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan or switch to China won't be made by the Solomon Islands government this year, an MP says.
“The statement followed the visit of a ministerial delegation to China last week, and the appointment of a taskforce to review Honiara's relationship with Taiwan.
“Mr Hou said a vote in parliament would not happen this year.”
Copyright @ 2019, Radio New Zealand.
Laudable efforts underway in Honiara to clean the environment of rubbish and to reduce plastics.
The Councillor for ward 9 in Honiara, Robert Oge, is leading a community activity in his ward to collect rubbish and to educate his and other communities, of the importance of cleaning the environment.
Mr Oge is reported saying, “We are planning to set up the ward 9 as a model ward and we want to start with Mbua Vale by doing landscaping and beautification around Mbua Vale entity and its households,” he said.
Meanwhile, ffive Honiara schools are trying for 10 weeks to replace single-use plastics in their lunch service through a new waste management initiative, according to an article in the Solomon Times on line, from which I quote:
“Koloale, Florence Young and Emmaus schools are trialing a refundable-fee scheme, which involves lunch vendors or the school canteen serving lunches in reusable containers. Students are refunded a small portion of their lunch payment if they return the containers after finishing their lunch.
“Saint Nicholas College and Honiara Senior High School are testing a discount scheme; through which students will pay slightly less if they bring a reusable container from home.
“We hope in the next 10 weeks what this does is help with change of behaviour in the way students do things, especially with regards to plastics,” Saint Nicholas College Principal James Lengi said.
“That will eventually transform the way they conduct themselves at home, in town, and hopefully in the future, it will make a difference in the effort of the government, the United Nations Development Programme and NGOs that advocate for the environment.”
“The Waste Management Innovation Initiative, which began the Schools Rethinking Plastic Trial in mid-July, aims to eliminate reliance on single-use plastics and better manage waste with solutions informed by behavioural insights. The approach draws on psychology, economics and neuroscience to explain how people make decisions.
“The trial will continue through late September and include banning plastic bags or reducing plastic packaging as a supporting component.
“Students from Solomon Islands National University (SINU) and several of the participating schools will assist with data collection during the trial and have the opportunity to learn about plastic waste.
“Trial results will guide the Waste Management Innovation Initiative, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and supported by the Innovation Facility, in efforts to improve waste management in Honiara.
“According to initiative partner the Honiara City Council, 80 tonnes of waste are generated in Honiara each day, and 22.7 tonnes are unmanaged.
“Plastic makes up about 21 percent of the city’s daily waste, based on estimates from a 2011 Honiara waste characterization report.
“Managing plastics and other solid waste is a pressing challenge for the local government that requires innovative, effective solutions,” UNDP Solomon Islands Operations Manager Keswar Leelah said.
“We hope that the Waste Management Innovation Initiative and its pioneering application of behavioural insights will support better management systems and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.”
“The Waste Management Innovation Initiative is supported by the UNDP Innovation Facility, which is funded by the Government of Denmark.”
Sources – Solomon Star News and Solomon Times on Line.
I offer my congratulations on the laudable steps underway to clean-up the environment, educate the public on proper waste disposal and for practical advice and action the better management of plastics.
22 August 2019
Community Health Action Grants in Vanuatu aiding communities to improve their well-being.
I have read that the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Vanuatu has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as demonstrating ‘Best Practice’ in the Pacific for its efforts to improve community attitudes and action for better health.
The award was received by the Minister of Health, Jack Norris Kalmet and the Director General (DG) of Health, George Taleo, at the Pacific Health Ministers Meeting in French Polynesia.
The Vanuatu Daily Post had this to say about the award and the Community Health Action Grants:
This is the third time that Vanuatu has received this award, recognizing the commitment of the MOH to the Pacific’s Healthy Islands Vision
This year’s award recognizes the work of the ministry to support communities in Vanuatu to take positive action to improve well-being, through the Village Health Workers Programme (VHW) supported by the Australian Government.
In 2017, the programme introduced Community Health Action Grants for communities to work with their village health workers and aid post committees to conduct projects which address their priority health needs.
The MALAMPA Provincial Health Team used the grants to support two communities on Malekula.
“Communities near Hatbol Aid Post worked together to construct household ventilated improved pit (VIP) toilets while the Valeta Aid Post community installed a safe, reliable water supply system.
“These toilets and water systems help to create healthy physical environments, said the Health Promotion Unit Manager, Jean-Jacques Rory.
“It demonstrates the real strength of the Community Health Action Grants.
“It creates real and measurable health improvement knowledge.
“The grants encouraged village health workers and aid post committees to work with their communities to improve attitudes and behaviors which keep people healthy for life.
“We (MOH) have used innovative data collection to measure and show that the Community Health Action Grants have: encouraged VHW-led health awareness activities; improved knowledge of health promotion and disease prevention; and improved access to water and sanitation.
“Director of the Public Health Department, Len Tarivonda, dedicated the achievement to the National VHW Programme Team, especially the Malampa Health Team whose successful implementation of the grants was recognized by the WHO for furthering the Healthy Islands Vision.
“Dr Wendy Snowdon from WHO based in Suva, Fiji, said that the Community Health Action Grants have demonstrated all the aspects of a ‘Healthy Islands’ initiative ensuring that children are nurtured in body and mind, environments.”
Source: The Vanuatu Daily Post.
I am not aware any Community Health Action Grants being given to help communities in the Solomon Islands to undertake similar activities leading to local health promotion and disease prevention, improved access to water and better sanitation.
Perhaps, in the light of the successful programme in Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services might wish to see what needs to be done to qualify for Community Health Action Grants being made available locally.
Japan sends Samoa five fire trucks
Quoting Radio New Zealand – 21 August 2019
“The Samoa Government has received five second-hand fire trucks from Japan.
“The fire trucks were handed over to the Samoa Fire and Emergency Services Authority as part of the Grass-Roots Human Security Projects scheme.
“A grant of up to about $US90,000 funded the procurement, reconditioning and shipment of the fire trucks from Japan.
“Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mataafa, thanked Japan for the donation saying it further strengthened the response services of the fire and emergency authority.”
Copyright © 2019, Radio New Zealand