BY BEN BILUA
CHINESE officials accompanied by official from the Prime Minister office and officials from the Ministry of Rural Development were welcomed by communities in Ranongga Island, Western Province.
The officials visited Marava village, Kolomali village and Koriovuku village to see the impact of water and sanitation projects which were funded by the People’s Republic of China through the Constituency Rural Development Fund.
Member of Parliament for Ranonga-Simbo, Charles Sigoto joined the visiting delegation at Marava village.
The visit was fruitful as the communities expressed their gratitude towards the People’s Republic of China for the support.
Speaking on behalf of Kolomali community, Mezi Hiva said Kolomali community was honoured to receive such a visit from high dignitaries especially officials from the Chinese Embassy which was led by Counsellor Rui Gong.
“This is a first of its kind and a record breaking history for us to witness this unbelievable event with highly respected diplomatic missions.
“We are excited because you come and see is personally so as to prove and promote clean and healthy environment, lifestyle through the water and sanitation project,” she said.
Similar sentiments were echoed at Marava and Koriovuku community.
In her speech Counsellor Rui said China is a true friend of Solomon Islands and will continue to provide necessary support to bring tangible development to rural communities.
She said China is providing 25 percent of its 1.8 million contribution towards the Rural Development projects to enhance community modelling especially in Water and Sanitation.
Rui said her team is impressed with the ground work and changes that the water and sanitation made to the communities in Ranongga Island.
She said China stands ready to add value to its existing projects with other development areas such as agriculture, health and education.
“We will support you with infrastructure development in the areas of agriculture, health and also education.
“China has been assisting people of Solomon Islands in the past two years since the establishment of bilateral agreements between Solomon Islands and China.
“Additionally, we have reached out to communities with our development within the past two years.
“Some of the major assistance is the development of sports facilities for the South Pacific Games, medical equipment in respond to COVID-19, donating the Chinese made COVID-19 vaccine and also we are looking at upgrading the airport at Vella Island.
“We have achieved a lot in a very short time and we will continue to look at ways to help Solomon Islands,” she said.
She said China will continue to learn from its existing projects and roll out other major projects in the coming years.
Director of the Ministry of Rural Development, Milfred Delemane the water and sanitation seen on the communities are impressive.
“It is encouraging to see the projects rolling out successfully,” he said.
Delemane told the communities that greater partnership is important to execute projects for the betterment of community livelihood and at the same time enhance personal hygiene.
He explained that the Ministry of Rural Development Planning is the institution established by the government to make sure projects are rolling out successfully.
“Our presence is to see first-hand what has been done with the fund provided for by the government through assistance from donor partners; for example, the 25 percent of water and sanitation assistance from the People’s Republic of China,” Delemane said.
He said the government continues to help communities by facilitating projects and other assistance.
Government officials include; Dr Samson Viulu from the Prime Minister’s Office, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Planning Technical Hugo Hebala, Director of RDP Milfred Delemane and RDP Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Gabriel Manetiva.
Embassy of China officials include; Counsellor Rui Gong, Wang Xuan who is the Economic and Commercial Officer and Puan Qilin.