"The Constituency Development Fund (CDF) has touched many lives and improved the livelihood of many," the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) says.
The MRD says this is despite the negative publicity pushed by some on social media.
MRD says they have continued to implement various programs over the years, but admit that they could have done better in terms of public relations.
The lack of an effective public relations strategy has resulted in poor public opinion and criticisms of the fund and its impact on the livelihood of people in the country.
The MRD says despite such public condemnations, there are success stories that show the positive impacts of the CDF to communities.
MRD Monitoring and Evaluation officers (M&E) interviewed a number of beneficiaries of the fund in Central Honiara Constituency (CHC) in November 2021, and say they have received positive feedback.
“I received an assistance of $5000 from CHC for my family’s small piggery farm venture. To me, this is a great help. It may seem small, but growing and making the most of the funds is important.
"The financial support is a boost for us and we have utilised it for the expansion of our family piggery farm business,” CDF beneficiary, Job Lanisi from Namoliki community said.
Lanisi said his small piggery farm has served him well to support his family obligations.
“The CDF assistance is an advantage for my family. Therefore, I must thank the government through CDF Program for the funding assistance.”
He suggested if possible, responsible authorities should consider maintaining the CDF funding assistance in the future to guarantee people are increasingly engaged in socio-economic development activities that would improve their standard of living.
Babra Maomaeasi from Kaibia community shares similar sentiments, stating she was overwhelmed by the impact the CDF has had to her family.
“CHC office assisted my family with $5000. We invested it into a family canteen. The funding assistance may be small but we have seen it grow over time.”
“While I understand every individual have different challenges and commitments with pressures from Urban living, I still have trust that once you put good use of the money received under CDF, whether small or big it would no doubt sustain your livelihood in the long run.”
She thanked government for the initiative and calls on the government to continue with the CDF funding assistance to ensure people participate in socio-economic development activities to improve their livelihoods.
Chief Kokem Noga from Yellow Bamboo Community at New Zealand Camp said his community was one of the happiest beneficiaries of CDF through Central Honiara Constituency (CHC) support for their Water Supply project worth $12,000.
“I have been residing here for more than 20 years now, and the main problem for the community is access to proper water supply. But, thanks to CHC for addressing our primary need by funding a water borehole that we are now using for cooking, drinking, bathing and washing,” excited Noga said.
“For the last 20 plus years, we have to walk to the Lunga river to fetch water for domestic use. And seeing that such assistance through CDF benefiting us is remarkable. Therefore, we would like to thank government for the CDF funding that ensure we have a proper water supply in our community.”
Mr Noga said CDF has touched his community hearts adding he wants the government to continue to render services to constituencies through the fund and to make sure constituents meaningfully participated in important socio-economic development for better life.
Stephen Aofia who was the latest recipient of the CHC housing assistance project, could not hold back his tears of joy, when a delivery of timbers for a full skeleton two-bedroom house was delivered to him on 23rd November 2021 at Jericho 2 community.
“I am a permanent resident of this community and a constituent of CHC but never ever received such support like this all through my life. This is the first of its kind. No words to express how I feel now. To receive timbers for a full skeleton house without even spending a penny is indescribable,” Mr Aofia said, visibly emotional.
However, a constituent who want to be named as Mike while acknowledging CHC for assisting its constituent’s towards improving their standard of living, wants to see fair distribution of such assistance in their constituency.
“What I mean here is, such support should include all constituent’s, regardless of whether you are a voter or a non-voter of the Honourable Member (MP). This is not only for CHC, but I wish to see it transpired in all the 50 constituencies too.”
SIG CDF allocation for Central Honiara Constituency for year, 2020 was $3 million.
Allocation by sectors showed $1,171,385.00 allocated for General, which include Administration and Logistics, Education, Empowerment of Women, Youths, Sports, Medical/health and General Assistance while, $1,828,615.00 apportioned for Infrastructure/Housing Scheme which include housing Hardware Materials plus Poly pipe rolls of different sizes.
The constituency was also allocated in 2020 the PRC CDF support of $1.8m to fund income generating, community infrastructure projects such as education and health facilities and community water and sanitation projects.
CHC commitment is to make sure all constituent is assisted and meaningfully participated in socio-economic development activities to improve their livelihoods, despite budget constraints.
Source: MRD Media