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Press Releases

 


OUTER ISLANDS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS DELIBERATE ON THEIR PRESSING ISSUES –PEILAPALAP (SEPTEMBER 23, 2010)

Press Release

(Office of the Governor: Kolonia, Pohnpei, FSM) On Thursday, September 23, 2010, Outer Islands Chief Executive Officers met in its monthly meeting in the Governor’s large Conference Room and deliberated on issues of immediate concern to the well being of their islands’ residents. Also present at the meeting are some of Governor’s cabinet officers and immediate staffs and an Emergency Service Coordinator who is working out of the Department of Public Safety.

Southern Islands Chief Executive Officers(CEOs), especially Nukuoro and Kapinga which rely only on field trip ship vessels in the delivery of medical/dental needs, extended their appreciation to the Department of Health Services in providing medical/dental assistances to the residents during the most recent field trip.

                                                                 

Front row:(L-R) Hon. Andrew Lucky, Kapinga Chief, Hon. Keller, Pingelap Mayor, Mr. Jefferson Peter, Moakilloa Chief Rep., Mayor of Nukuoro, Hon. Dison Gideon,Mr. Heinrick Stevenson, Public Affairs Officer, Director of Health Services Mrs. Keller. Back row: (L-R) Mr. Kenio Frank, Sapwuahfik Chief Rep., Mr. Richard Herman,
 Emergency Service Coordinator, working out of the Dept. of Public Safety, and Mr.Pelson Moses, Aquaculture Specialist at OFA)

All outer island Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) agreed that there is need for closer collaboration among contracting officials, contractors and outer islands Chief Executive Officers to prevent delay in maintenance of schools and dispensaries. COEs  recommended contractors planning to bid and the Office of T&I to visit public facilities needing renovation and conduct thorough assessment of structures to be renovated before they can actually submit and administer bidding.  Islands that have local maintenance capability should have their own residents do the repairs because it is more effective and will benefit them.                                   

There is also concern that some buildings to be maintained have solar on their roofs and need to be removed before work can start. These solar owned by the national government and should be handled by them. There is concern government employees on the islands are treating these solar as their own, recommendation was made during the meeting that the monitoring and reporting of the proper management of these solar be turned over to the Chief Magistrates/Mayors.

The CEOs of the outer islands thanked Rotary Club, an international NGO organization with local harm here for donating Solar Steel machine which converted salt water to fresh drinking water. Kapinga and Nukuoro each received 20, Sapwuahfik received 40 based on the islands’ current population. Next field trip to Eastern Islands will deliver more to Mwoakilloa and Pingelap.

The problem of hazardous waste on the island caused the CEOs to bring up the idea of exploring incinerator use and agreed to visit JICA Office in Pohnpei for further details. This machine burns hazardous materials. The cost and appropriate size for each population is what they will explore at the JICA Office.

Mr. Ernet Ringlen, the Acting Administrator of the Office of Fisheries and Aquaculture (OFA) has informed CEOs that his office is conducting pelagic fish survey, engaged in pearl projects on some islands by partnership with COM and Land Grant. Also managing an aquaculture kuok fish project with Nanwouhn Kepin Semwei. It is easy to aquaculture kuok species because it feeds and grow on almost anything. OFA reported sighting of trochus in Kapinga and recommended assessment by the office staffs on next available field trip to see if harvest may be possible.

Outer Islands CEOs agreed that purchasing of fuel from FSM Petrocorp is difficult than during Mobil ownership. According to some, you must purchase 6 drums to receive discount and deliver all at one time even if your car can only carry 4. If you cannot deliver the 6 drums due to limited vehicle space, you can only purchase what your car can carry and return for the rest but receive no discount. Petrocorp is also not accepting their government checks only if they own shares in the corporation. Finally, on this issue, they will send the copy of the minute of this meeting and letter to the outer islands Congress and Legislature delegations  to look into this matter which they referred to as, “discriminatory and disrespectful,” in nature.

Outer islands are experiencing water shortages, but most severe is the island of Kapingamarangi and the phenomena is approaching Nukuoro quickly. Water wells are drying up, leaving some homes without fresh drinking water. They agreed to request the proper authorities at the State and National government to assess the situation for confirmation.

Office of Public Affairs briefed CEOs on availability of technical and grants assistances from the Embassy of Japan and Australia. This office urged them to review the requirements and decide whether to apply or not. According to Mayor of Pingelap, he had some experiences with asking grants and the difficult part was not knowing how to write a grant and how to obtain statistic information that donors need. He went on and suggested that each colleagues put in his annual budget seed money that 5% of it can pay grant writer who secure needed funding. He further inform other CEOs that some universities and organizations also offer seed money. It will not hurt to justify to their congress and legislature their need for seed money. More than 40 families on Pingelap are engaged on vegetable home garden and are harvesting their vegetables under a project funded by a grant from Venezuelan Government. Pingelap also exported 3,000 pearls and will soon export another 1000. In November of this year.

Director of the Department of Health Services took the floor by informing the CEOs that Nukuoro and Kapingamarangi short health assistants. Two health assistants are  required on each island such in case one is sick or something happen to him/her. She requested the assistance of local entities in identifying an interested person who will receive the training and will want to remain on the island. Director Keller further said that Pohnpei faced with insufficient number of dental staff due to retirement and lack of interest in the field. Punctuality of health staffs on outer islands need to be monitored and control because we do not know if they are really working or not, said the Director. If possible, according to Director, she supports an MOU to authorize local chiefs to monitor and report on performances of these employees. All CEOs are consented to the idea and suggested that such monitor and control extended to all the State Government staffs from other departments/offices on the islands.

On single side band radio use in the outer islands, Mr. Ricky Herman, Emergency Service Coordinator at the Department of Public Safety objected continue use of such system saying it is unreliable especially when you have a disaster/emergency warning message that must go out immediately and said, “ as disaster control officer,  single side band radio does not guarantee me to contact outer island when I should and for that reason his firm is exploring a system which cost less and most effective because it can be used on 24 hour bases. Present Communication Network Proposal for early warning system to outer islands is costly and he guarantee the CEOs he will find alternative.

 

End of the Text

For further information, contact Mr. Heinrick Stevenson at telephone no. (691)320-8686/Fax no. (691)320-2505 or email: pnigovernor@mail.fm





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