The Guadalcanal Premier, Francis Mbelande Sade officiated at the launching of the multi-million-dollar Mamara New City project in North West Guadalcanal last Friday.
Some interesting facts emerged at the official launching when the Premier said the Mamara-Tasivarongo-Mavo Development Agreement Act was initiated as early as 1997 between the then Solomon Islands government and the Singapore investor Metropolis Pacific Pte Ltd
“But while we celebrate and congratulate each other, it is also important to be conscious of both the positive and negative impacts of such a development, and to ensure that it is inclusive and does not reproduce the challenges that we have seen with Honiara,” Premier Sade said.
The ‘Mamara New Capital City’ development is the result of the Mamara-Tasivarongo-Mavo Development Agreement Act 1997.
The agreement was between then national government and the investor Metropolis Pacific Pte Ltd, based in Singapore.
Premier Sade spoke about the global situation with human societies becoming increasingly urbanized with more people moving into rapidly growing cities, some of which are overcrowded and most people living in its economic and social margins.
He stressed there was therefore a need to put in place policies and plans that, not only facilitate this growth, but also alleviates the negative impacts.
The new City is expected to accommodate 1,000 houses for public servants before 2023 and a Mamara Spring Hotel.
Given all the houses are built and then occupied by families, of say, three members per household, by 2023 there could be 3,000 plus residents in just two years time.
The investor is a Singaporean based one and, knowing Singapore as I do, I would have expected to have learned during, the launch, of the project provision for a community health centre in the new City.
With the expected population size of 3,000 to 3,500 residents a health centre must be a requirement and built during ongoing house construction, if universally accepted population ratios to health provisioning is followed.
A health centre must then be capable of delivering services equitably, efficiently, and in a coordinated manner as essential for achieving health outcomes for all residents, especially outpatient health care services..
Ideally, a dental clinic should be part of health care provisioning for the New City development.