THE people of South Vella La Vella Constituency (SVC) in the Western Province will now have better access to policing services with the handing over and blessing of more than $2 million brand new ‘Parakasi Police Station’ at the Constituency Development Growth Centre (CDGC) in Vonunu on 25 August 2023.
Member of Parliament (MP) for SVC Hon. Fredrick Kologeto handed over the new infrastructure to the Assistant Commissioner Provincial (ACP) of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF), Leonard Tahimana and the South Vella communities.
The project was funded by the Solomon Islands Government through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) programme administered by MRD and successfully facilitated by SVC office under the candid leadership of Hon. Fredrick Kologeto who is the current Minister for the Ministry of Commerce.
It was the first ever police station to be established on the island of Vella La Vella.
Vella La Vella formed part of the Western Province and is the second largest island after New Georgia Island.
Yet, it has its own challenges when it comes to accessing of policing services and security.
Over the years Vella continues to record substantial number of crimes with lack of regular/physical police presence on the island to provide needed security and policing services to the communities and businesses presumed as a pretext.
Not until in 2019 when Hon. Kologeto was elected to Parliament and see the need for a police station to be instituted in Vella La Vella.
With support from his constituency team and communities, he (Hon. Kologeto) pursued the dream of building a police station in his constituency. The handover last Friday was the fulfilment of the (his) vision.
A vision to provide a safe and secure environment for communities, businesses, and other related economic development in SVC to prosper.
It was an eventful day, with glare of excitement and spectacular show of delight from everyone who witnessed the ceremony that categorically inked down in the Vella La Vella history manuscript.
Indeed, a landmark achievement for the constituency as it continues to pursue its development ambitions to bringing government services right down to the heart of rural people.
The benefits of the new police station are not limited to SVC only but will benefit the entire Island of Vella La Vella who seeks policing services.
Speaking before handing over of the facility to RSIPF and the communities, guest of honour and the Minister for the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) Hon. Duddley Kopu said: “We have gathered here not only to witness the physical structure of this police station but also to celebrate the safety, security and progress this service will bring to our community.
“Today, we are witnessing the manifestation of a collective vision, a vision that has been nurtured and brought to life through the dedication and hard work of countless individuals. It is a vision that symbolizes our unwavering commitment to the safety and well-being of our community, our families, and our future generations,” Minister Kopu said.
He said the establishment of the Parakasi Police Station is a testament to the spirit of cooperation that defines our community.
“It is a testament to the dedication of Hon. MP for South Vella La Vella and his constituency officers, Gizo Police Provincial Authorities, Local leaders and government officials to recognize this important infrastructure. It is a testament to what can be achieved when we work together with a shared purpose,” he stressed.
He said that creating a safer environment where our families can thrive, and our businesses can flourish is paramount.
“The legacy of this police station goes beyond its physical presence. It signifies a sanctuary where justice will be served, where the voices of the vulnerable will be heard, and where the safety of our families will be protected.
“It stands as a symbol of hope, a symbol of our unwavering resolve to overcome challenges, and a symbol of our commitment to building a brighter future,” Minister Kopu emphasized.
Minister Kopu acknowledged everyone including churches, chiefs, communities, contractors and individuals who contributed one way or the other towards the successful completion of the project.
He also thanked Hon. Kologeto for his vision and leadership to ensure the safety of our communities and other economic development are respected and protected.
The MRD Minister also recognized RSIPF and the Western Provincial Government authority for their support toward such social infrastructure development that will positively bring maximum benefits to our rural people in terms of security and policing services.
Minister Kopu further stated that the completion and successful handover of the Parakasi Police station signifies the importance of CDF and what it can achieve in partnership with everyone.
Meanwhile, Assistant Commissioner Provincial (ACP), Leonard Tahimana acknowledged Hon. Kologeto for his vision and aspiration in seeing the importance of having law enforcement (police) as one of the key priority areas for development in SVC.
“Today’s handing over is history in the making and a milestone achievement for not only the communities and people of SVC but also for Western Province, the Ministry of Police, RSIPF and the Solomon Islands Government as a whole,” he said.
ACP Tahimana further said that one of the development program of the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) pertaining to the Ministry of Police, National Security and Correctional Services (MPNSCS) is the police and correctional infrastructure program, which is to build police posts, correctional centres and officers houses in Honiara and the provinces.
“Every year the government supports this program through its development budgets, however such budgetary support still cannot fully meet the demand of building and maintaining such infrastructures. Therefore, having the political support in building policing infrastructure, like what we are witnessing today is overwhelming in the sense that it really complements the infrastructure program of the ministry.”
He said maintaining safety, order and peace in our communities is everyone’s business adding peace, security, law and public order are the bedrock to sustainable development and stability in our communities within which the economy can grow and people’s livelihoods and wellbeing are improved.
ACP Tahimana then called on communities to take ownership in keeping the infrastructures and urged them to support the work of police officers who will be posted to the police station in due course.
He said the next step for RSIPF now is to resource the new police station in terms of staffing, assets and police equipment saying the ministry of police is fully committed on its responsibility to see the post in full operation soon.
The ACP also acknowledged the diligent efforts of everyone who contributed to the successful completion of the infrastructure project.
The new police station consists of two cell rooms, kitchen, office rooms/spaces, lavatories and a very conducive and spacious area for officers. The project also included two permanent police staff houses also funded by CDF.
MRD Minister Hon. Duddley Kopu, ACP Tahimana, the Deputy Premier of the Western Provincial Government (WPG) Hon. Carlrick Runimetu, WPG representatives, senior representatives from MRD, Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour & Immigration (MCILI), RSIPF, chiefs, other community leaders and people from communities in and around SVC witnessed the historic occasion.
Close to a thousand people attended the program which ended with entertainment and feasting.
SVC has invested most of its CDF allocation into major essential infrastructure projects. An investment that will not only benefit a handful of constituents but everyone in the constituency.
Other projects that the constituency also funded through CDF are; construction of two clinics which are Elioteve clinic & Kolokolo clinic; Copra buying and storage centre; a fisheries centre; coconut crushing mill facility; wholesale/cooperative society centre; Piggery project, construction of two new police staff houses and a kava processing facility.
These developments are part of the government’s continuous commitment under the leadership of MP Kologeto to decentralize services and bring them closer to its rural people.
Another project that is scheduled for handing over in the coming months is Elioteve clinic also funded by the constituency’s CDF allocation.