Solomon Islands MP pushes for Weather Coast rehabilitation
Solomon Islands MP for South Guadalcanal calls for Government to ensure rehabilitation projects dovetail with peace process.
The Solomon Islands member of parliament for South Guadalcanal is calling for the Government to push ahead with rehabilitation projects for the Weather Coast.
David Day Pacha's comments follows a recent government-initiated reconciliation ceremony at Peochokuri Village in South Guadalcanal.
The government apologised for an attack on the region more than a decade ago by the so-called Joint Operation, involving para-military police and the Malaita Eagle Force.
The police launch was used to fire indiscriminately at villages on the Weather Coast as the Joint Operation hunted the fugitive rebel leader, Harold Keke.
Mr Pacha told Amelia Langford he is asking the Government to support a range of sustainable rehabilitation projects.
DAVID DAY PACHA: What I would like to have is a rehabilitation programme to work simultaneously with the reconciliation that is underway in the Weather Coast.
AMELIA LANGFORD: What sort of sustainable rehabilitation programme are you hoping for?
DDP: Amongst many activities, many other things to do in the Weather Coast, I am calling for the government to start building roads to connect the Weather Coast people from Honiara to the Weather Coast - bridges, wharfs in the Weather Coast, schools, health centres. And I'm looking forward to having a police post in the Weather Coast.
AL: Right, so quite a few different things.
DDP: Yeah, that's amongst many other things that I think should come along in the rehabilitation programme. I would like to further discuss with the government to design a rehabilitation programme to cover some kind of commercial projects that can derive incomes for the people - income opportunities - for the people in the Weather Coast.
AL: And what sort of commercial projects would those be? Agriculture? Tourism?
DDP: Agriculture. Tourism is currently underway. We are doing the Guadalcanal track. That's one of the major income generating projects that we are working on at the moment. And agriculture, of course. Fisheries is one. We have good fishing in the Weather Coast. We can move into fishing - we can catch fish and sell it to the factory. One of the major programmes that is underway now is through the constituency funding is the rehousing programme, and that is funded under the constituency fund.
AL: So, tell me, you've just recently had the reconciliation ceremony. How was that?
DDP: I'm very happy with the programme. But that is not the end of the story. This is just the beginning. And this reconciliation is mainly between the Joint Operation, the police, Royal Solomon Islands Police, and the people of the Weather Coast.
David Day Pacha says there is a long way to go before the people of Weather Coast regain their trust and confidence in the police.
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