Deteriorating staff houses affects agriculture development

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The MAL’s principal Field Officer in Afio Mr Eddie Saokwai
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BY LYNTON AARON FILIA

The MAL’s principal Field Officer in Afio Mr Eddie Saokwai

THREE staff houses in Afio, Malaita province under the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) are in deteriorating conditions since last year with no renovation done.

MAL’s principal Field Officer in Afio Mr Eddie Saokwai raised a concerned that three staff houses in Afio are in bad condition and needed to be fixed immediately.

Saokwai said housing is a real need not only for staffs but for development of agriculture in the communities and nation as a whole.

He said they already provided the report last year in their annual conference but to date nothing has been done so far and it is causing lots of concern and frustration to communities there.

“The challenge at the moment is, there is no staff house in Afio, house there but it does not fit for human being to stay inside, it needs to full repair,” Saokwai said.

Saokwai said in terms of progress of agriculture activities there, man-power is deemed unfair because there is no senior officer looking after Afio—every senior officer is stationed in Auki.

“If only they renovate the three houses quickly then it will be good and officer can move in, it should be two senior officers,” he said.

MAL’s Director Extension/Project Sub Coordinator Mr Michael Ho’ota said the Ministry has made attempts to the request last year but have been delayed by lack of funds.

He said now Ministry of Infrastructure Development has approved its supplementary budget to be responsible for renovation of three staff houses at Afio.

He said currently there is no staff posted at Afio in Malaita province due to the houses being in bad condition—activities are all remote controlled from Auki office.

Besides that, Ho’ota said in sufficient staff numbers, lack of staff houses and office spaces, staff capacity, resources and logistic support continue to hinder effective delivery of agriculture services to rural population.

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