Tuesday, 9 March 2010 3:32 PM

The Continuous West Guadalcanal Floods

Dear Editor,

I would be grateful if you could publish my article and observations on the recent floods affecting the West Guadalcanal areas.

It has been noticed that flooding and damages to homes, gardens and livelihoods have increased in these areas, more commonly within the vicinity of the river systems across West Guadalcanal have become more frequent then previous situations on records.

These are classic examples of the effects of unsustainable logging, all these areas have been logged out, so the people should not insist the Government or National Disaster Office should address these issues, whilst, they may assist in assessment of situation and immidiate responses. In reality, the land owners of West Guadalcanal are reaping the benefits of their decisions and ideology of quick money from logging.

The forestry Department should also be held responsible as the department tasked with making sure all logging operations are within the bounds of the Solomon Islands Logging Code of Practice; which is further strengthened and allowed to be enforced by the Solomon Islands Forestry Act.

I would also like to stress that; the call to review the Forestry act is not an excuse, the current code of logging practice is still strong and valued, and it is only the lack of enforcement and laziness of the Forestry Department personnel to carry out duties that is the issue.

It is common knowledge that all buffers zones (no go zones for logging operators) have been breached across all the river sections for West Guadalcanal. So what were all those visits by forestry officers to West Guadalcanal logging sites for? This raises the questions of under table payoffs? Or lack of performance?

Buffer zones under the SI logging code of Practice clearly specify that logging operations are not allow to fell or cause damage to trees and vegetation within 100 meters or more of rivers or streams, or more precisely - water systems.

It is also well known public knowledge that Bobo Dettke, a part Guadalcanal business individual has been the main logging operator across most, if not all; the Forest land of West Guadalcanal. Legal proceedings should be held against him, by the forestry department on behalf of the people of West Guadalcanal, based on a environment impact assessment. That is clearly one of the main roles of the forestry department, a civil servant department representing the best interests and well being of our people, in this instance the West Guadalcanal people.

I guess now Government has to foot an unnecessary bill to repair roads and bridges, something that could have been easily avoided had the people of West Guadalcanal cared more for their land and how the companies they invited operated. As well as Forestry Officers should have been doing their jobs.

Come on people, let's try and change our work ethics and practices of economics. Forestry Department is one of the most well known Government departments that corruption is predominant and rampant; lack of staff discipline, lack of following process and procedures, money changing hands etc.

Honesty nomoa save changim iumi. Hao iumi tingim tu future blo oketa pikipinini blo iumi?



Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of John Kay and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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