3 Aug 2010

Predictions new shipping arrangements a boon for Solomons Islands

10:33 am on 3 August 2010

The Solomon Islands Development Trust says rural communities will benefit greatly from new funding to increase shipping to remote islands.

Three private operators have been awarded five franchise routes, under a plan to create regular shipping services to commercially unviable destinations.

The project is co-financed by the Asian Development Bank, European Union and Solomon Islands Government.

A spokesman for the Trust, Walter Turasi, says the rural communities will see financial gain as well as improved healthcare.

"Even they have lots of sea resources but would like to bring into town or they can sell it and earn money for their day to day living or needs and wants. The biggest thing I would say is, come to the medical centre here where we have good facilities people who like to seek medical help here in Honiara."

Walter Turasi says the benefits for Honiara is the increased opportunities to buy gifts and fresh goods exported from the distant islands.