Gov’t scouts potential land for tourism in East Fataleka

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Chairman of Fotana tribe, Samuel Sikwa
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By EDDIE OSIFELO

MINISTRY of Culture and Tourism has completed a report on a proposed tourism site belonging to Fotana tribe in East Fataleka, Malaita Province.

This was after it sent a team early this year to do scoping assessment on the land offered by Fotana tribe.

The 600-plus hectare land was bought by the Government for the Auluta Basin palm oil project.

However, the project could not get off ground due to some internal land issues.

Permanent Secretary, Andrew Nihopara said the Fotana tribe want to explore another opportunity as alternative for the Auluta basin project.

Nihopara said tourism is one of the alternatives which the group approached the ministry for consultation.

He said it is too early to speculate unless there is a business plan ready to negotiate for the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grants.

Nihopara said the Government is still to sign the MCC grant as well.

However, he said the Fotana group has a Governance plan and structure in place for the proposed development.

Government Communication Unit reports the MCC Board of Directors at its quarterly meeting on December 15, 2020 approved a $SBD$185 million (US$23 million) Threshold Programme for Solomon Islands.

The Threshold Programme for Solomon Islands will cover two projects. The Forest Value Enhancement Project (FoVEP) and the Accessing Land for Tourism Investment Facilitation (ALTIF) project.

The FoVEP project is targeted at natural resource management particularly conserving forest ecosystems.

It will work through an economically viable community-based resource management program that aligns and takes into account the customary uses of forests resources and to leverage the direct results of alternative forest management as well as facilitate incremental improvements in the regulatory and institutional framework in the forestry sector.

The MCC is an innovative and independent US foreign assistance agency that is helping lead the fight against global poverty.

PS Nihopara acknowledged the Fotana group to come forward and offered their land for development.

He said this is the kind of partnership that should be encouraged for development in the country.

Island Sun understand the other part of the land is offered for the third International airport in the country.

Engineers of Ministry of Communication and Aviation and Ministry of Infrastructure Development are expected to visit the site to do a feasibility study in a date to be confirmed.


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