I want to express on my view on the basic needs in Kirakira that need to be considered, that could hinder socio-economic development.
Makira Ulawa Province as one of the nine provinces in the happy Isles is regarded as the most peaceful province. Kirakira is the provincial headquarter and it is located on the Islands of Makira formerly known as the San Cristobal. Makira was the first province that had its second appointed day after the country had its constitutional independent from the British on the 7th of July 1978.
Solomon Islands as one country in the Pacific that practiced decentralization, it has great benefits as well to the provincial citizens in terms of urban development. Meaning the transfer of administration to towns around the country including Kirakira, decentralization includes a number of aspects:
. Political decentralization - the devolution of political decision-making powers
. Democratic decentralization - locally elected representatives controlling the local authorities
. Decentralization of the national fiscus - predictable formulaic transfer payments
. Decentralization of fiscal powers - the devolution of tax-raising and spending powers
. Administrative decentralization - the devolution of governmental functions.
In comparing Kirakira with other towns in the country such as the Gizo town and Auki town (excluding other because of small land mass) they both have well in terms of socio-economic development. For example, in the Western Province there are numbers of economic developments such as the tourism industry as well as the handicrafts etc likewise for Auki. Not only on the economic development, but the social as well such as housing. Also both have good and efficient social and human service. Here I do not mean that Kirakira do not have these services, but Kirakira do not have enough compared with the two, though all provinces categorized under the termed decentralization. And my question is why only some provinces benefited and have convenience from decentralization and not Kirakira.
I may be wrong here but I only want to differenciate and want to know how and why the others have these services more reliable but not Kirakira as for me a Makiran concern. As far as I know the national government has allocated fund to its provinces, the national government will not leave her child alone, and why still nothing changed. As a reality the source of the local government is the national government where by it has retained the power of transfer though it reduces its power of autonomy. There are also other alternative that Makira provincial assembly can earn income from, such as owning properties. Why leaving the provincial rest house with a high vacancy rate and there is also a property in Honiara (Kola Ridge) and others sources that can earn income from. Do not rely heavily on the government as this time of the global economic crisis that affects our country. It should not be an excuse that lack of fund, because we (Makira) are old enough to handle us, as it is a long period since we had our second appointed day, think of other sources as well, such as agriculture that will earn income with the help on to the national government fund where province can be able to develop.
What I think that cause such development to lag behind are some social and basic human needs are not meet that still stagnant, such as housing and water shortage. These two needs are essential to human. You may think that the two basic needs are not really help in development, but I must correct you here. Human resources are the main source of development in what short of development. Human (labour) in economics is one of the four factors of production. Without human/labour there would be no production or development, and to make it happen, the two basic needs should be considered. Who are to be blamed? Answer: 'The responsible local authorities'. Where the Makira Ulawa Province Town and Planning Board as are stated in the Town and Country Planning Act [cap.154] schedule that all provinces including Makira that each has Town and Country Planning board, - you need to advice the minister or the PS on what the social need within the local planning area, or where are the Housing Authority, do we have Housing Authority? If not, do we need it? If not, then find other ways to meet the housing and water need for the workers. And who is responsible for water and sanitation. Come on wake up guys! Only the two basic needs I believe are the most that can contribute to development. Human resources need housing and water in order to work and enjoy their living more efficient. Most houses in Kirakira are now obsolescence in terms of physical, functional and economic, it is more like village and water is not available for some days. Thus labours who suppose to work in Kirakira decide to move to towns that have good services.
The principle approach to handle the problem is the need of the professionals such as Physical Planner, engineer and so forth. In the country we have such staffs, but in order to have such professional in Kirakira the two basic needs should to be met. Only if proper planning occurs everything will OK. This is the work of the Local Planning Authority and other relevant authority as well the public. Hence planning is the focus, as planning can be define as the art and science of ordering the use of land and the character and sitting of buildings and communication and water routes so as to secure the maximum practicable degree of economy, convenience and beauty (Keeble, 1952).
Though the planning area (Kirakira) is small because of customary rights as it constrain, but the area we have now if only a good planning occur everything will be thumb up and the needs will be met and development I believe will comes in.
Last year the Provincial Premier Mr. Thomas Weape took some concern and needs from each department/division on what they need so that there would be a change. But I think that nobody in the divisions. I think positions were vacant. Why vacant? No housing and water availability.
"I guess that the concerned authorities can handle it. If others can, why not Makira Ulawa Province, but wake up we are now in our thirties now". Remember towns and cities are the engine room to all economies. Therefore the two basic needs should be considered before Kirakira will be halt on more for some more years.
Basic Social Needs in Kirakira Township left stagnant
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of Morris Tora and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.
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