Out Board Motor (OBM) transport operator and owner, John Mark Tovutohu.


A local transport operator in the Guadalcanal province is calling for government support as they struggle to stay afloat amid the increase in prices of fuel and transport assets.

Out Board Motor (OBM) transport operator and owner, John Mark Tovutohu, which provides transportation services for traveling passengers in the east central region of Guadalcanal province, says the government should prioritize transport projects for boat owners providing transport services in the country.

John Mark, from Longgu village, told Sunday Isles that the government should provide financial assistance to help cover operating costs and keep their business from going under.

“We are an essential service for many people in the country, and we are committed to keeping our business running for as long as we can. But we need help from the government in order to survive,” the operator said.

Tovutohu has been a transport operator for nearly 30 years. He is responsible for transporting passengers and cargo between east-central Guadalcanal and Honiara.

“I often transport supplies for small canteen owners in the villages, such as copper, Masonite, rod wires, cement, and other items. We no longer have ships, and there are very few roads available. Boats are so popular,” he said.

He earns over SBD 1000 per day, transporting passengers and housing materials and goods for canteens. He earns SBD$200 per passenger from Longgu to Honiara and $400 for two ways. Due to a lack of ships and road access, many prefer boats.

“I believe that as the election draws nearer, members of the provincial and national governments ought to acknowledge our risky work.

“The vital role we play in the community must be recognized. The government must step in and provide the support needed to help the transport operators through this difficult period.

“We continue to provide essential services, despite extreme weather conditions, to support the community and their livelihood,” John Mark said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here