PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare has urged Solomon Islanders to take ownership of the new submarine cable system.
Speaking during the opening of the Taro Cable Station on Monday 3 February, the Prime Minister encouraged citizens of the country to take great ownership of this very important infrastructure by ensuring that we protect the cables from any sort of damage.
“I strongly urge us to rid our mindset from the thinking that the company that runs the cable have the sole responsibility to look after the asset,” he said.
“Instead, we must all protect the cable system from interference by shipping, fishing activity and even seabed prospecting.”
He said any damage to this very important asset is going to be very expensive to repair and can be futile for both communication and business.
“This can have a very huge negative implication on our economy,” he said.
The Prime Minister announced that the Government is already considering implementing a cable exclusion zone and is planning to legislate a 5 km cable buffer zone to protect the submarine cable.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has reiterated his appreciation to the Government and people of Australia for funding the major portion of the submarine cable costs.
He also acknowledged two national companies and shareholders to the submarine cable, the National Provident Fund (NPF) and the Investment Corporation of Solomon Islands (ICSI).
“I also acknowledge the support from our many Development Partners such as the World Bank, New Zealand, and others,” he said. The Prime Minister said the submarine cable story has gone from folklore to a reality.