Thursday, 27 September 2007 2:58 PM

Huni'ehu Claims Misleading: Kengava

Opposition MP, Edward Huni'ehu's claims that the present government's Bottom-Up-Approach Policy is not forthcoming has been described as 'misleading'.

The Minister for Rural Development and Indigenous Affairs, Clement Kengava, made the comment in response to Mr. Huni'ehu's claims this week that the government's policy is "failing its purpose".

Mr. Kengava, in a statement, said the misleading claims that the present government's "Bottom-Up Approach Policy" is not forthcoming reflects "the opposition's failure to appreciate the policy".

He said this is due to lack of "such policy for rural development" from the Parliamentary Opposition, led by the Association of Independent Members (AIM) who "does not have such policy".

Mr. Kengava adds that Opposition has often confused the policy with the notion that it is a financial scheme designed to pour money into rural areas without any management or control measures.

He said the bottom up approach policy is the government's core policy for strategic rural development that sets the direction that the GCC government takes to focus on the importance of strategic planning, capacity building at all levels especially in the rural areas.

He also said it is about developing Solomon Islands from the rural sector, supported by a strong administrative and management capacity in the urban centers like Honiara and other provincial centers.

"The policy is about working closely with the provinces and all constituency and government agencies to deliver goods and services to the people and facilitate development that is beneficial to all," said Mr. Kengava.

He said the policy is about working more closely with the provinces and all constituencies and government agencies to deliver goods and services to the people and facilitate development that is beneficial to all.

The Minister said all that has taken place in all ministries, provinces and communities since the GCC government came into power has been about "bottom up" development.

"The policy is already being implemented through the process of changes that government has introduced into the government machinery."

"All ministries are now actively involved in rural focused development, especially the ministries responsible for finance, fisheries, agriculture, lands, forestry and infrastructure," he said.

"In the social sector, the ministries of education, health, youth, women and sports are implementing their work programs and the Ministry of provincial government is now embarking on providing institutional strengthening to all provinces," Mr. Kengava said.

He said the establishment of the new Ministry of Rural Development and Indigenous Affairs has now provided the avenue for the policy to be fully realized into 2008 and 2009, which will be strongly reflected in the 2008 National Budget.

"I thanked the opposition for their comments and expect them to support the 2008 national budget in the coming parliament meeting especially in support for rural development," Mr. Kengava said.