LIGHTS OUT AS HONIARA FACES FUEL CRISIS

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (July 16, 2002 - SIBC/PINA Nius Online)---Major power cuts being experienced throughout Honiara will go on for an indefinite period, the Solomon Islands Electricity Authority management announced.

This is because fuel deliveries to the authority in Honiara have ceased as a result of the agency not having enough money to buy diesel fuel to run its generators.

Honiara has faced continuing power problems as part of the national financial crisis.

This follows more than two years of ethnic conflict and continuing law and order problems, which have kept key export industries closed or only in limited operation.

Some bigger organizations in Honiara now operate their own standby generators to assure a continued power supply.

Meanwhile, more teachers in the provinces are pledging their support for the strike begun by Honiara teachers over delays getting their pay.

And in Honiara, the government's Treasury Division is closing for a week, with a notice outside saying this follows a Cabinet directive.

A source said the closure is a move to reserve some money to meet the salary arrears of workers on the government's payroll.

For additional reports from the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

 

SOLOMON ISLANDS FINANCIAL CRISIS WORSENS

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (July 17, 2002 – Radio Australia)---The financial crisis in the Solomon Islands is worsening -- with power and water cuts in the capital, Honiara.

The country's Electricity Authority announced that it hasn't been able to pay its bills, because the government owes it at least A$ 2 million (US$ 1,120,680).

The local Water Authority also is demanding that the government pay bills estimated in the millions.

The problems faced by the utility agencies come amid industrial action over the non-payment of government salaries.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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