EAST Are’are Constituency (EAC) has set balance in the implementation of its Constituency Development Fund (CDF) programme as it continues to empower constituents to be self-reliant.
A team from the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) is currently in the constituency to monitor and verify 2020-2022 CDF-funded projects and can confirm that EAC is one of the constituencies in the country that are well organized with communities very supportive to their Member of Parliament Honourable Peter Kenilorea Jr and the constituency office towards implementation of its CDF initiatives to improve their social and economic livelihoods.
It is obvious that the main priority sectors that get most of the constituency’s CDF allocation are economic sector which covers income generating, social sector which include support to education (schools) and health and the environment sector which targeted at promoting conservation.
Development partnership is manifested in EAC. The constituency office works in partnership with communities and individuals to help advance rural development that continues to transform their lives.
“EAC put more emphasis or support into communal projects and also income generating initiatives,” Constituency Project Officer (CPO) Aliki Ha’apio said.
He said EAC under the respectable leadership of Hon. Kenilorea Jr, believes in community partnership in development and empowerment of women and youths.
“Empowering our rural women and youths with necessary tools and initiatives is crucial to guarantee they become self-reliant and that also will allow them to rise out of poverty.”
Mr Ha’apio said that one of the initiatives that they have started under the economic sector was the establishment of a “revolving fund” which constituents can borrow to start off their micro, small and medium enterprises or businesses with funds allocated according to respective communities.
“For example, if a person from Hautahe community wants to borrow $2,000 to start off his or her small business, he or she can be provided support under the Hautahe community allocation.
“There is no time frame for reimbursement. But as long as borrowers earn enough money, they can repay the total capital borrowed and then use the interest to continue their business and the same capital (square money) can be rotated or used to support others that also needed support to start their businesses.
“We started this initiative last year and we have proved it very effective as many constituents both at home and in Honiara benefited a lot from it and successful in their small business undertakings,” he said.
He further said that another important aspect that they want to encourage is honesty.
“Honesty is very important in any business operation and also in our daily lives. So, training our constituents to become honest in such undertaking though small is crucial. Therefore, we work together to build that confidence and honesty in our people.
“For us to achieve bigger things in life, we have to start small,” Mr. Ha’apio said.
He said that it is the commitment of the constituency office under the leadership of Hon. Kenilorea Jr to support communities and individuals to become self-reliant, honest and responsible in whatever they do with the determination to do away with the dependency syndrome.
CDF is a programme of the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) and is implemented by the 50 constituencies in the country through the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) purposely to improve the social and economic livelihoods of all Solomon Islanders.
Apart from the Solomon Islands Government, only the Government of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) has supported the CDF Program since 2019 until last year.
Current MP for EAC is Hon. Peter Kenilorea Jr.
MRD Communications and Public Relations will bring more stories on the impact of CDF in EAC in the coming days.