Sunday, 11 May 2008 5:42 PM

Shipping services to remote areas

I have been to most remote and isolated areas in many provinces throughout the solomon islands and found out that irregular and unreliable shipping services to those areas have contributed significantly to lack of economic activities to such settings. For example, some places on the weather-coast of makira have ships coming their way once in two months as most ship owners or charters describes such routes as uneconomical. This sounds reasonable on money wise but frankly speaking, certain people and communities are made disadvantage through such shipping adhocs. I disagree with the notion that small to medium-scale developments have to be innitiated before any move to regulate shipping services to such areas can be seen meaningful.

We have to understand that not all communities will get financial support from government or other funding agencies to embark on community development goals. With the esteem to adapt to the changes that our societies experience at present, people already were self motivated to engaged in socio-economic activities that they need to sustain life to its fullest, therefore, with poor or lack of shipping services to such remote locations, people are finding it extremely difficult to regularly market their products, this often resulted in a negative responce to economic development in the rural areas, especially in areas that lack any means of transportation or even if they do exist, cant be relied on.

People can be very productive, but if their production gets them to nowhere, they will definately give up and resort to other crazy means. I see that if the government is for the people, then have your plans stretch out to the people where ever they are in their settings, so that development can have its real root and make sense to people out there in the rural areas, because at the end of the day, they too have needs to grow, socially and economically and can able to contribute significanlty to community development aspirations.

I hope the plan to subsidize shipping service to uneconomical routes will really help boost community development in many rural areas that have been left out from the process for so long. I hope the plan will work out well and have the capacity to help many people reconsider their developmental priorities now and into the future.

Thank you.

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

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