PIANGO pans seabed mining
Quoting Radio New Zealand – 15 February 2019
“The Pacific Islands Association of Non-Government Organisations (PIANGO) has called on regional governments to recognise the risks of seabed mining.
“The call comes as Pacific governments met in Tonga this week to discuss their hopes of exploiting minerals on the ocean floor.
“PIANGO executive director Emele Duituturaga said seabed mining threatened fisheries, marine environments and ocean livelihoods.
“As well as calling for a ban, Ms Duituturaga asked governments not make hasty decisions about taking up seabed mining.
"This workshop is pedalling deep sea mining to our governments but who will benefit?
"If mining was the panacea to the economic issues of the Pacific, we'd have solved all our problems long ago. Instead the environmental and social impacts of mining have made our peoples poorer," Ms Duituturaga said.”
Copyright @ 2019, Radio New Zealand
Pacific big enough for China and the west –
Quoting Radio New Zealand – 15 February 2018
“The World Bank's vice president for East Asia and the Pacific says there is enough room for China and western countries in the Pacific.
“Victoria Kwakwa was in New Zealand this week discussing the bank's partnership with that country on development projects in the region.
“The Pacific Islands region is increasingly seen as a contested space for competing geopolitical interests.
“Ms Kwakwa said the development challenges that Pacific countries face are enormous and there is room for more actors in this space.
"There is a lot of work to do and we have to find constructive ways of engaging in a meaningful way to the best interest of the countries.
"Using international standards whether it is procurement, whether it is preparing the projects, selecting them, environmental and social safeguards, transparency and debt issues. That is how we would like to work with China and with other partners to support development."
Copyright @ 2019, Radio New Zealand.
15 February 2019
Technical skills training and investment needing to see more local manufacturing of quality made products for export
A couple of my more recent articles have focused on what I, and others, believe should be done to encourage the making, sale and marketing of more locally made products.
Some local entrepreneurs have already seized the opportunity and are producing quality products for export and employing Solomon Islands workers in the manufacturing process.
A case in point that I can refer to is a veneer factory, situated at Lungga in Guadalcanal Province.
This factory commenced operations in 2011 and now employs 300 local workers in the manufacture of quality veneer.
The veneer is exported to Taiwan and the Philippines and the sales of the wood products have helped to boost the national economy and provide a secure and reliable means of income for the factory employees.
It is my understanding that trials are currently underway at the factory to manufacture plywood in addition to the veneer products and production of plywood should commence later this year.
The Solomon Islands Government policy on ‘down streaming’ is that all logging companies in the country have to meet an 8% requirement for local sales from their logging operations.
The Lungga Factory operations and output meets that 8% target but how many other logging companies are complying with the government’s requirements but should?
The manufacture of veneer at the Lungga factory seems to be a fine example of business initiative aiding local employment, enterprise and the wider economy.
It is to be hoped that similar business enterprises will occur if technical training and finance can be made available once the new SIG assumes office.
60 percent of Honiara without water supply from bad weather
Quoting the Island Sun newspaper – 15 February 2019
“SIXTY percent of the Honiara’s population are without water this week following current bad weather.
“This came after Solomon Water closed off its Kongulai Pump Station in the outskirts of Honiara due to the current adverse weather conditions.
“Solomon Water explains in a media statement that it has been forced to shut down its station due to high turbidity (silt and dirt particles in the water) experienced from the continuous rainfall experienced over the week.
“Solomon Water Chief Executive Officer Mr Ian Gooden said, “Solomon Water action is necessary to ensure that quality and safe water is distributed to the customers.
“One of the reasons for the shutdown during wet weather is because Solomon Water does not have a water treatment plant to filter dirt out of the water in heavy rainfalls, therefore the only option is to shut the system until water is safe for distribution.
“If we kept on producing water the disinfection process cannot kill any bacteria in the water, making it potentially unsafe for drinking. The silt will also clog up customers’ pipes and systems.”
“He said they have similar trouble at Rove and Kombito, making it very difficult to produce enough water for the city.”
“Solomon Water’s Operations Team are currently monitoring the situation and should the quality of the river water improve, supply will be restored to the areas affected,” he said.
“Solomon Water apologises for the inconvenience and advises its valued customers to store and use water wisely during the disruption period.
Solomon Water plans to establish a new filtration plant at Kongulai in future.
“As part of the major strategic plan upgrades over coming years, a new filtration plant is planned for Kongulai and this will enable us to produce quality water regardless of the weather.
“Solomon Water is starting to implement its 30 Year Strategic plan and 5 year action plan which aims to upgrade water and wastewater infrastructure throughout the areas we supply, helping us to deliver safe and sustainable water services in our area of operations,” Gooden said.
“He said a significant donor funded programme is being negotiated and the first major construction works should start in Auki in April 2019.”
Copyright @ 2019, Solomon Star News
Allegations of improper rubbish dumping.
Quoting the Solomon Star newspaper – 15 February 2019
“THE alleged continuous negligence by the Honiara City Council (HCC) has seen increasing piles of rubbish being dumped beside the O1 White River bus stop in West Honiara.
“Chief from Tandai ward one (1) Charles Chilivi told North West Guadalcanal Solomon Star Stringer John Toki that more rubbish have been disposed by those vendors selling goods, vegetables, betel nuts and other cooked foods at the O1 market.
“Chilivi said he understands that the HCC has known well of that market and receiving fees from the vendors and should be responsible to collect and manage the rubbish disposal.
“He said they should provide proper bins for rubbish and avoid that area for dumping of rubbishes.
“He added they should rather close the market if they cannot manage the rubbish collection.
“The chief has called on the HCC to find a better market area for those vendors and improve things like security and health.
“He said currently that area lacks toilets, no security and no proper dumping site for rubbishes.
“Chief Chilivi said its another new year and that the HCC should improve some of its mandated rules and responsibilities for the good of its people.
“Meanwhile, that area was once an eye sore to social media last year after it was covered with all kinds of rubbishes from the market vendors as well as people surrounding White River.”
Copyright @ 2019, Solomon Star News.