Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare made history when he became the first Solomon Islands Prime Minister to visit the Polynesia outlying islands of Temotu, Tikopia.
The government communications unit reports that despite the rough weather enroute to Tikopia, the Prime Minister and his delegation arrived safely.
Prime Minister Sogavare was accorded a traditional warrior welcome, and was welcomed by an emotional Mathew Vaka Apairotu, a representative of the House of Chiefs in Tikopia.
“Some, if not all of us here never had the chance to meet any Prime Minister in our lifetime, we only hear them on the radio. Today, not anymore, the people of Tikopia meet you in person,” Apairotu said.
He said the only other senior ranked government official to visit Tikopia was the former Governor General, the late Sir George Lepping some 27 years ago.
Mr. Apairotu says that the people of Tikopia owe their health to the quick action by the government, and to date have remained COVID-19 free.
He said the visit also brings the government closer to the people on Tikopia.
“It reinforces national unity, that we are one family, a Solomon Islands family.”
Prime Minister Sogavare says he was happy that he was able to meet the Chiefs and people of Tikopia, listen to their challenges, visit schools and a clinic on the Islands, without having to wait in the office for the reports.
The Prime Minister also thank the Chiefs and leaders of Tikopia especially for its human resource contribution in the development of Solomon Islands.
He assured the chiefs and people of Tikopia that their plea for improved health services has not fallen on deaf ears. He says a new health facility will soon be built with government assistance.
During his tour on the island, Prime Minister Sogavare donated SBD$20,000 cash as a token of appreciation towards Terano Primary School.
Prime Minister Sogavare returned to Honiara on Sunday.