The Prime Minister and two of his cabinet Ministers held a successful visit to Marava in the Central Guadalcanal region this morning, as part of their tour of the Tina Hydro project area.
Their fly-in visit was preceded in the morning by a meeting where the Tina River Hydro Project Office and Permanent Secretary Barnabas Anga, met the Bahomea Land Identification Committee (BLIC) at Hilltop in the Bahomea area. At this meeting the PS was presented a chupu in thanks for the government’s recognition to the work of the Bahomea Land Identification Committee (BLIC).
This initial meeting was followed up by the Ministerial delegation’s aerial tour of the entire project area from Ngalimbiu River mouth up to final preferred locations of the dam and powerhouse of the project. The Prime Ministerial delegation then had an extended meeting with a large gathering of chiefs at Marava.
The four Paramount chiefs of Bahomea together with the Chairman of the Bahomea House of Chiefs of Central Guadalcanal warmly welcomed Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo, Minister of Environment and Conservation, Disaster Management and Meteorology and Minister of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification, Hons Bradley Tovosia and Moses Garu at Marava.
During the visit, which lasted more than two hours, the chiefs stressed to the PM and delegation they were all behind the drive to have the project realised. The Prime Minister and his Ministers remarked on the very strong support displayed by the communities of Bahomea today evidenced by the presentation of two chupus. The Prime Minister said that the Tina region “is now poised for a role model – a real model for sustainable development for Solomon Islands.”
PM Darcy Lilo on one of his trips to the Bahomea region.
In the meeting the Prime Minister thanked the chiefs and people of Bahomea for their strong support to the Tina River Hydro Development Project, and reiterated the government’s commitment to ensuring financial benefits to the people and landowners of the region. “My sincere respect for all you paramount chiefs and members of the Bahomea House of Chiefs.”
The visit by the Prime Minister was to enable him and his two Ministers to see the proposed dam site and meet with community leaders. Prime Minister Lilo in a briefing after the visit told the media he personally had wanted to go himself and meet with the leaders on the ground, and that he was very encouraged by what he witnessed.
Paramount Chief Peter Rocky, chairman of the Bahomea Land Identification Committee, BLIC, said the traditional role of chiefs of Bahomea is to look after their own people in Bahomea.
“We do not talk about people outside of Bahomea. We are working with our people to stand together in realising the Tina River Hydro Development Project. We strongly believe that this Project will really benefit the people of Bahomea and the whole of Solomon Islands,” he said.