Standing up for climate change in Ontong Java

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BY LYNTON AARON FILIA

Wendy Amangongo standing up for climate action. Photo from UNDP Solomon Islands.

INTENDING female candidate from Pelau in the Malaita Outer Islands, Wendy Amangongo has made a commitment to stand up for climate change which is heavily affecting the Ontong Java islands.

Situated some 500 kilometres (311 miles) north of Honiara, Wendy said the size of the Ontong Java is shrinking with the edges of the islands eroding away.

Recently, she joined a group of leaders and reporters from three leading media organisations in the country to get firsthand information about the situation Lord Howe atolls are facing.

From observation, Wendy said now the situation which Ontong Java is facing regarding climate change have detrimental effects on food and water sources.

She said water wells are being contaminated by salt water and crops have less land for growing.

”In some cases there is just not enough fertile ground for harvesting crops as they also are being contaminated by the sea—similar situation in Sikaiana.

“If I do not stand up to make differences particularly for climate change then who will? Climate change is not a new thing. We have all known about it for many years.

“We have witnessed the effects on Ontong Java and all Solomon Islanders have been reading about it in the newspapers and hearing it on the radio for so many years now.

“The question I asked myself is why has not anyone done anything about this yet?

“I have decided to be constructive and actually protect my people and bring about solutions, that is, if the people from MOI elect me and that is a decision from them.

“I am making preparations for taking real action – next week I will be travelling overseas to work with leading regional Environmental protection company with the objective to deliver the people of MOI good long term and sustainable solutions.

“I am looking forward to working on these solutions next year if elected.”

Wendy said her inspiration to run in the next election was sparked four years ago but did not go through with it as it was not the right time then.

With that she have seen lowering of respect and less assistance provided to the people of MOI which gives her inspiration to standup.

“I have also seen that not all of the CDF monies reach my people.”

Previously, Wendy was also approached by the National Women’s Council which run under Solomon Islands Government though the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs.

She said from the council she trained many areas of government and politics to become good leader adding that the training has put her in good position to properly lead constituency, if that is the peoples wish.

“MOI needs a responsible person who has good reputation, good integrity and good intentions to manage climate change, the CDF situation and most of all to take proper good care of the constituents.

“I believe I can make a real difference to the people of the beautiful outer atoll islands.”

According to the UN General Assembly to the Lord Howe atolls, there’s an unstoppable movement to do right by our planet and help each other get ready for the coming storms of climate change.

“We don’t have a moment to lose,” UN said.

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