The Island Sun newspaper today highlighted in a leading article that the people of Temotu are calling on the national government to provide the province with a ship.
Quoting the article it read.
Premier Clay Forau made this call, saying the lack of a ship affects almost all aspects of development in the province.
“Almost all aspects of our development is affected by the lack of shipping services which makes us leaders and People of Temotu province realise that for the moment our priority is that we must have a ship for Temotu province.
“We are calling on our Prime Minister and the Ministers of the Crown to support us in that endeavour. We believe that if we have this infrastructure we will, as a province, be able to contribute to own development.”
He said the call was not coming from him but from his people of Temotu province.
“In a preparation to be able to operate a ship we have established the Temotu Chamber of Commerce. This body will be responsible for managing the ship on behalf of the people of the province,” Mr. Forau said.
He said it can be viable to operate a ship in Temotu province.
Mr. Forau said at the moment Temotu faces difficulties and serious problems in terms of a lack of a shipping services.
“Our students have also been affected severely by the lack of shipping services. Some of the students were not able to make it to school this year because of a lack of transport. Those that have managed to fly by plane are now experiencing school fee problems because their school fee had been utilized in paying for their airfare
“Businesses are affected severely when ships do not turn up and our shops go empty.
“The projects given to us by the national government never get completed in their given time frame due to the lack of shipping services.
“People have lost their love ones from sicknesses because of distance and lack of sea transport,” he said.
In response Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said while shipping and infrastructure remain a major challenge for many provinces, it is more acute in Temotu given the distance between the islands and distance from Honiara.
Mr. Sogavare said the national government will assist Temotu Province to address its development challenge.
End of quote.