The Member of Parliament (MP) for South Guadalcanal has recently launched a development plan for his constituency.
Mr. Rollen Seleso was one of the first MP’s to come up with such an initiative for his constituents in the 11th parliament.
Speaking to Solomon Times Online, Seleso says the 2019 to 2023 plan sets out the framework for the South Guadalcanal constituency. He says being in the provincial government for two terms, he saw the gaps and had a clear understanding of what he needed to do.
“I gather professionals from South Guadalcanal living in Honiara to assist in the development of this document. We traveled to the communities to gather information from the people”, Seleso says.
He says he did not come up with the document himself but with the support from a few of the South Guadalcanal people living and working in Honiara.
“We have a lot of human resources with the same interest to develop our constituency and they gladly came on board to support me including the support from the provincial members", Seleso says.
The South Guadalcanal constituency consists of three wards. Duidui, Vatukulau and Talise. The road that accesses the South Guadalcanal runs from Marau to Avuavu. The road is still said to be in use but needs improvement to connect farmers and villages further up to Laloato in the Talise ward. Shipping services are not reliable in this part of Guadalcanal. There is only a run down wharf which ships do not use as it needs maintenance and repair.
“This development plan is what we want to do for our people in the constituency”, Seleso says.
He says the idea of a development plan is also to help the people get out of the ‘handout mentality’.
Seleso says people are so used to their Members of Parliament giving them monies that they are not able to fend for their own families.
He says the document is made up of thoughts and ideas carried out during consultations in the constituency.
He says often, South Guadalcanal is one of the regions on Guadalcanal that missed out on development activities.
“We have a lot of resources on South Guadalcanal. The people need to focus on the resources they have to earn an income so that they become self sufficient”, Seleso says.
The South Guadalcanal Development plan 2019 – 2023 focuses on fisheries, agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, education, health and sanitation, peace and security, environment, disaster management and climate change.
“This plan sets out to address the 17 sustainable development goals as well” Seleso says.
He says the South Guadalcanal Development Plan is also in line with the government’s National Development Strategy.
“We know it will be difficult but at least we have a document here that will guide the work that we do”, Seleso says.
Seleso says the emphasis he placed on his constituents is cooperation and willingness.
“I started off with church buildings for the villages in my constituency. I want to see how the people will work together. I am really pleased to say that so far, they have all cooperated and worked together to build the churches in the villages. All the work the villagers did were on a humanitarian basis. None of them asked for pay and they provided materials as well”, Seleso says.
The MP for South Guadalcanal first joined the national government in 2019. He has served as a provincial member in the Guadalcanal Provincial Government for two terms before contesting the National General Election in 2019.