Solomon Islands Women Urge Shift To Rural Development

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Centralized development in Honiara causing urban drift

By Elliot Dawea

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Jan. 13, 2014) – The national government is urged to redirect its focus of development to rural areas.

President of the Western Province Council of Women Rendy Solomon made the reminder in light of the influx of young people into Honiara in search for jobs.

"If you look at our current status, everything is almost centralised in Honiara," Solomon said.

"This is why you see more and more people leave the villages to Honiara every year," she added.

Solomon said villages today offered nothing for young people of this nation.

"Those who tried to live and make a living in the village found it really difficult because there’s very little economic activities down there.

"As a result, they shifted and left to Honiara in search for jobs, education, and economic opportunities."

Solomon also called on the government to address unemployment, illiteracy, poor facilities at school, impoverished clinics, and stimulate economic opportunities.

"It is high time the government redirect its focus on service delivery to the provinces to ensure the much talk about national issues is addressed."

Solomon said there are relevant government authorities to address the issues but the will-power and drive must come from leaders.

"I applaud some politicians who are doing well to push for projects that alleviate unemployment at their provinces.

"This is what all our political leaders should be doing," she said.

She added another area that future governments must look into is empowering of young people so that they could become responsible and better citizens.

Solomon said government’s neglect of young people has left them to become liabilities than assets the nation could rely on.

She said the issue of urban migration is becoming so serious and urgent that the government must act decisively to address it before it explodes onto its face.

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