THE Government has been praised for its initiative to establish Constituency Fisheries Centres in the rural areas.
Member of Parliament for Ranongga Simbo Hon Charles Sigoto commended the government when addressing a gathering at Suava Village, Ranongga recently where he officiated at the official opening and handing over of the Constituency Fisheries Centre from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources to the people of the Constituency.
Representatives from the MFMR travelled to Ranongga on September 19, 2018 for the official signing of Memorandum of Agreement and handover.
Speaking on the occasion, Hon Sigoto said his people will benefit from the CFC when it becomes fully operational because they rely on fish as alternative source of income.
He said his people have been the biggest supplier of fish to the Gizo market and with the centre established there, it will further boost fishing activities in his constituency and also generate much needed income for the rural dwellers.
“The opening of this centre will go a long way in addressing some of the needs of my people and for that I would like to thank the Government through the Ministry of Fisheries for funding the construction of this centre,” he said.
The Ranongga Simbo MP also used the occasion to thank the chiefs of Suava for allowing their land for the construction of the fisheries centre.
He stressed that individual fishermen around the island can now use the centre to their advantage as it (CFC) is fitted with solar-powered freezers to store their catch.
Additionally, individuals including women and children will also benefit from this centre by earning income through fishing to support their families.
Hon Sigoto said he believes with continuous support from the government, there will be employment opportunities and improve the standard of living for people in his constituency.
Deputy Director Provincial Fisheries Division Mr. Ben Buga also praised the government initiative when addressing the gathering.
He said the CFC was initiated under the leadership of Hon Manasseh Sogavare’s DCC Government in 2016 and adopted by Hon. Rick Hou’s SIDCCG government when he took over the helm as Prime Minister.
Twenty Constituencies were awarded the project and Ranongga Simbo Constituency was among the first to submit their intent to have the centre built in their constituency.
Mr Buga told those that had gathered for the hand-over ceremony that it is the government’s vision to establish the CFCs in the communities to provide opportunity for fishermen and women to have an alternative source of income and most importantly bring development down to the rural people.
“Rural people make up the biggest percentage of the population mass using our resources, so this centre will go a long way in serving them,” he said.
It is hoped the completion of the CFCs will improve and strengthen the contribution of small scale fishing operations for both for food and also to generate income for families to pay for medical, school fees and other basic needs and wants.
Under the CFC project package, the MFMR is responsible for the construction of the building and also provided the equipment which includes three solar powered freezers, a 400 litres eskie, a boat and outboard motor. It is now up to the management committee of the CFC to manage and run and maintain the centre.
The Ministry of Fisheries will continue to provide support to the centre through training and related activities such as Fish Aggregating Devises (FAD) which help fishers catch pelagic fish more easily.