Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands government reclaims blue boats

Fisheries Acting Permanent Secretary Feral Lasi confirmed to the Solomon Star on Wednesday the blue boats are now under government custody.

“….yes the boats are now taken back from Iona Firi after they failed to meet the requirements in the MoU,” Lasi said.

“State will now decide for its destruction site,” he added.

He further revealed that since last week, they consulted Taroniara shipyard group for their possible rate to dispose off the boats.

People living on coconuts after Solomons eruption

The Tinakula volcano in the country's easternmost Temotu Province began erupting on Saturday spewing ash over the Reef Islands in the Santa Cruz group.

A volunteer disaster worker in the provincial capital Lata, Jones Harara, said the volcano continued to spew ash and lava.

Mr Harara said people in Lata could hear the eruptions 20 kilometres away.

He said those directly affected by the ashfall were in urgent need of relief support.

Solomons eruption prompts warning to stay indoors

The Tinakula volcano in the Santa Cruz islands began erupting on Saturday.

The national broadcaster SIBC reported people in the country's easternmost Temotu province were being told to avoid ashfall from the volcano by closing their doors and windows

The director of the National Disaster Management Office Loti Yates said they should breathe into a mask or handkerchief and wear protective clothing and glasses while they're outside.

Mr Yates said the effects of the ash on nearby communities and flights into the province were the main concerns.

Reports of ashfall as Solomons volcano erupts

The volcano, Tinakula, which forms an uninhabited island in the northern Temotu province, roared to life at about 2am yesterday.

Villages on nearby islands have reported heavy ashfall.

The director of the National Disaster Management Office in Honiara, Loti Yates, said a police patrol had been deployed from the provincial capital, Lata.

He said information had been slow to trickle out of the remote area, and it could be some time before the full situation was known.

An aviation warning has been issued for the Santa Cruz area.



Solomons to make solar panels - a Pacific first

The Taiwanese ambassador to Solomon Islands, Roger Luo, told the audience that leading Taiwanese solar manufacturer, Speedtech, would set up a solar panel factory in Honiara early next year.

The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation reported him saying the arrangement followed a request by prime minister Manaseh Sogavare during a state visit to Taiwan last year.

Mr Luo said the factory would make the Solomon Islands the first country in the Pacific to manufacture solar panels.

First female dive instructor from Solomon Islands

Zaza Bedford is from Munda, Western Province and New Zealand and is part of the Dive Munda scuba diving centre.

The 19-year-old qualified through Scuba Schools International and can work worldwide as an instructor.

Operations manager of Dive Munda Belinda Botha said she had been grooming Ms Bedford as an instructor for the last 18 months.

"Zaza came to me, 18 years old, just fresh out of school and never dived before," said Ms Botha.

"It was first of all getting her comfortable in the water and luckily it was her passion as well," she said.

Solomons needs to create 10000 jobs a year - Chamber

The chair of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry is calling on the government and the private sector to focus on creating 10,000 jobs a year to keep up with a rapidly growing population.

Jay Bartlett said 70 percent of Solomon Islanders are under 30 and the country's main focus should be on creating jobs.

Growing at the current rate of 2.3 percent, the population of about 650,000 is forecast to double by 2050.

According to the World Bank, Solomon Islands had the highest rate of unemployment in the world at 31.4 percent in 2016.

Sacked Solomon Islands government minister recalled as Deputy Speaker of Parliament

Mr Pacha was relieved from his duty over allegations of having a secret meeting with a mining company executive late at night at a hotel car park.

He was elected unopposed to the post when the Parliament resumed yesterday.

Pacha and the Member of Parliament for East Fataleka, Steve Abana were the two nominees for the position but the latter withdrew candidacy before the Parliament resumed yesterday.

‘Vietnamese Blue Boats’ to be destroyed soon

The company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources last Friday to destroy the vessels within four weeks of the signing.

Fisheriey Director Edward Honiwala and representative of Iona Firi Properties Limited, Wale Tobata

Mr Honiwala said the decision to destroy the boats is in line with the High Court’s decision because the boats have failed to pass their sea worthiness examination as confirmed by the Solomon Islands Maritime Safety Administration.

Three people die in boating accident in Solomons

The Solomon Star reports eight people were returning from a funeral on Saturday when the boat they were travelling in capsized in rough seas in north east Malaita.

The five people who survived had been rescued by a World Vision boat stationed at Kwai Island following an emergency rescue call.

Three bodies were recovered over the weekend.


Photo: Biosphoto / Minden Pictures / Chris Newbert