Temotu people stranded in Honiara due to poor shipping services

Temotu people stranded in Honiara due to poor shipping services


HUNDREDS of people including around 90 teachers and students from Temotu province have been left stranded in Honiara just because of poor shipping services to their province.

Over the past years, there’s no constant or regular shipping services to the province which posed challenges to accessing transportation.

The only means of transportation to the province is by air via Solomon Airline but for middle and low income earners, this is quite expensive.

A visit to one of the chartered Landing Crafts, L.C Kikori scheduled to travel to the province saw many passengers being denied to board, a decision that does not go down well to those wishing to travel home.

Speaking on behalf of the passengers, Barnabas Meaiyo from Santa Cruz said they have already waited for several months to return home and the continuous lack of shipping services is just a disaster for them.

“We have around 90 teachers plus students and given that schools have already started, it really affects our children’s education back at home and who will we blame this for?”

“Since the Pacific Games last year or even before, the only vessels that travel to our province are landing crafts and the Marine has warned us not to travel on those vessels so the question is which vessels can we travel on and who will provide that for us?” he further questioned.

Mr Meaiyo said even the recent chartered vessel for the Joint Election can’t afford to take any of the stranded passengers.

He said Temotu province has been without a ship for the last decade despite promises to purchase one. The delay raises question for the people of the province.

“We heard last year a delegation of officials from the province have left for Indonesia to buy a ship for the province but until today we are still waiting for the ship to arrive to help address some of our challenges,” he added.

A landing Craft scheduled to travel to Temotu province

He encourages those intending candidates who want to contest this upcoming joint election to know about the issue of poor transport services to the province and address it.

The Solomon Islands Maritime Authority as part of its ongoing key messages discouraged Landing crafts to allow passengers on board as landing crafts are designed for cargoes with limited spaces for crews.

Caretaker Premier of Temotu province, Clay Forau earlier told SIBC News the new vessel for the province will be a passenger cargo landing craft from Indonesia.

The vessel was said to be undergoing some fitting works to withstand the high seas in the province.

Once that is done, it will then go through required legal processes within the country before it can be taken over for operation. 

Temotu province once owned a passenger and cargo vessel called M.V Temotu which only served for several years.


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