The visit was also an opportunity for the team to pay a courtesy call to the new Premier, Mr. Martin Fini, and the Chief Officer for Malaita Provincial Government Mr. Peter Herehura, to update the Highest Provincial Office on the development of this national project.
Leading the site visit were the team from the Bina Region Arrangement for Governance (BRAG) headed by Michelle Lam (Coordinator). In attendance was also a representative of the New Zealand High Commission in Solomon Islands Mr. Hamptan Pitu, staff from the Malaita Provincial Fisheries office in Auki headed by Mr. Alick Maeorea and the JID team including Operations Manager Ann Rowley, Chief Operating Officer Sophie Boucaut and Communications specialist Sarina Laurence.
The visit was time well spent for the recently mobilised Project Office team from JID, who were able to gain a better understanding of the Project site and community components in relation to the land identified for the development. The Project Office team based in Honiara have been given the mandate to provide the technical expertise, dedicated focus, and drive to maintain Bina Harbour Tuna Processing Plant development momentum and are currently completing work on the Project’s inception phase requirements.
The delegations were initially briefed in Auki and then travelled to Bina Harbour by boat, allowing them to see the deep, wide expanse of Bina Harbour and its easy access from the open sea features which make the harbour so well suited to the development of a port.
The team further explored the land and catchment area by support vehicle which took them to community centres, schools, and health clinics within the Bina region.
The BRAG Programme, staffed by 5 employees works alongside the Bina Harbour Project Office (BHPO) and provides support and assistance with access to all the communities of the project site and is the unit for any entry by stakeholders wishing to visit Bina Harbour. /By John Ice BHTPP Project