The Ministry of National Planning and Development Coordination (MNPDC) handed over a Toyota Land Cruiser to the Guadalcanal Provincial Government (GPG) during a brief ceremony in Honiara yesterday.
The vehicle was part of assets from the Rural Development Programme (RDP) which was implemented by the National Government through the MNPDC, with the program team, development partners, provincial governments and rural communities.
MNPDC handed over the vehicle to GPG as RDP has come to a closure as of 30th September, 2022, significantly reaching a milestone of 14 years of implementation since phase 1 and now phase 2.
MNPDC Permanent Secretary (Ag) Roy Mae said GPG has been identified as one of the important stakeholders that RDP has worked with over the many years that the program had been implemented, and has been very supportive of the program.
“Therefore, we are pleased to handover this vehicle to you,” Mae said.
“I would like to encourage you to take good care of this asset and put it to good use in many more years to come to achieve the province’s development aspirations and programs, as well as to overcome the challenges that you are facing at the moment,” he added.
Mae also acknowledged and thanked the partners who contributed funding towards RDP and made its implementation possible.
This includes the Australian Government (DFAT), The European Union (EU), the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), World Bank (WB) and SIG.
Mae also acknowledged RDP program management, commending them for a job well done in ensuring the successful implementation and completion of the program.
Guadalcanal Premier Francis Sade acknowledged SIG through MNPDC for the timely handing over of the vehicle.
He said the current GPG executive has been faced with a lot of challenges, one of which is logistics.
“Logistics is one of our challenges that we have been faced with over the last couple of months. We are blessed that you make the decision to give us this vehicle,” he said.
The premier also acknowledge the work RDP has done in the province, and said his executive is happy to continue work together with MNPDC.
The handing over came after the province submitted a formal request earlier this year.
RDP was implemented in Solomon Islands in two phases over 14 years – from 2008 to 2022.
Its objective was to improve basic infrastructure and services in rural areas and to strengthen the linkages between smallholder farming households and markets.
RDP was focused on participatory development, demand-responsive provision of Government services and creation of a supportive economic environment for small-scale rural development to foster employment and income growth.
The program was divided in three components, and was designed to respond to priorities identified by communities in order to raise the living standard of rural households.
The successful completion of the program provided improved access to infrastructure and services to approximately 300,000 people, 60% of the population.