EU pumps in $78M for water, sanitation here

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Berdi Berdiyev, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative and Country Manager, Guadalcanal Premier Francis Sade, Minister of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening, Rollen Seleso, Minister of National Planning and Development Coordination, Rexon Ramofafia and UNICEF Chief of Office, Dr Zalalem Taffesse.
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By EDDIE OSIFELO

SOLOMON Islands has received $78 million ($8 million Euro) from the European Union to improve water and sanitary conditions in schools and communities throughout the country.

The funding is also to strengthen the service delivery capabilities of provincial governments as prescribed in the major components of the project.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) will implement the projects.

Speaking at the launching of the EU funded projects at Heritage Park Hotel yesterday, Minister of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening, Rollen Seleso thanked the European Union, for this important gesture that would surely go a long way in improving water and sanitary conditions of schools and communities.

EU had also assisted the nine provincial governments through the Provincial Capacity Development Fund (PCDF) of the Provincial Governance Strengthening Programme (PGSP) from 2008 to 2015.

Seleso said the overall contribution of European Union to PGSP phase one was over USD6.1million and USD3.5million of that went into PCDF.

“The European Union contribution in PGSP phase one did not only help the nine provinces to deliver critical infrastructure throughout the country, but it also supported the Ministry of Provincial Governments to strengthen the capacities of the provincial governments as critical service delivery agency of the National Government.

“Through the partnership with the Solomon Islands Government, RAMSI, UNDP and UNCDF, the EU, the donor partners’ support to PCDF and PGSP has contributed a lot in improving the infrastructure and service delivery capabilities of the nine provincial governments,” he said.

“As of today, the nine provinces combined have completed and handed over 1,549 projects in various sectors from July 2008 to March 2022 at a total cost of USD41 million creating over 8,500 jobs for our construction industry most of whom are rural youths.

“Our records indicate that the provincial investment in water and sanitations stands at 520 projects at a cost of USD2.1 million.  In education sector, the provincial governments through the PCDF delivered 301 classroom projects at a cost of USD12.7 million whilst in health sector, they delivered about 133 projects across the nine provinces at a total of USD4.8 million,” he said.

Seleso said the new project they were launching yesterday shall greatly complement the efforts of the provincial governments and prepare them to provide the much-needed support to education and health sectors in their service delivery efforts at the sub-national.

He said because of the seed money provided by the development partners under the leadership of SIG, the capabilities of the provincial governments have been increasing.

“The National Government has recognized the impact made by the Provincial Governments not only in delivering rural infrastructure for service delivery but also the massive improvements realized in governance and accountability,” he added.

EU Ambassador and Head for the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific, H.E Sujiro Seam and UNDP Resident Representative, Levan Bouadze could not attend the launching in Honiara but joined through virtual from Nadi airport in Fiji.

They could not come on Tuesday due to mechanical problem caused to Air Nauru but arrived in Honiara yesterday.

They start their engagement today by attending launching of other EU projects and held consultations with the Government before returning to Fiji on Saturday.


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