Community officers

A good programme for rural Malaita development lacks support from the province




MALAITA provincial government is being urged to support the province’s Community Liaison officers (CLO).

Community officers play a role in contributing to law and order in the communities, assisting provincial leaders with planned activities in communities, or assisting community members with sorts of needs.

The programme belongs to the ministry of provincial government (MPGIS). The ministry recruits officers and the provincial government pays their salaries and other benefits.

The Community Liaison Officer programme is run in three pilot provinces; Malaita, Makira-Ulawa and Rennell and Bellona.

Officers in Malaita are voicing their concerns that the province is not supporting them. It is claimed that this lack of support stems back to the time the programme began.

An officer of Malaita, requesting anonymity, says Malaita province has not been owning up to the MOU it signed with the MPGIS to support the CLOs in terms of salary and other funds for the programme.

He said their work is challenging, however, would be effective if the province supported them.

The CLO said at the moment individual officers are using their own resources.

In times where they cannot support themselves, and fail their duties, they get blamed and chastised by the communities and the province.

He reiterates that the province should help CLOs because they are the ones who prepare communities for development plans belonging to both the national and provincial governments.

The CLO adds that the community programme is still young and has space to improve, and support and will from the province is one which they have identified.

The MPGIS or Malaita provincial government could not be contacted for comments before this paper went to press.

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