While the Government is arriving with assistance to develop Maewo, the island’s growing intellectuals are also ready to work with the Government through a newly set up body called Maewo Business Forum.
The objective of the body is to safeguard the island from over-exploitation similar to what is happening on Efate.
Forum Chairman Ezekiel Boelum who is a former president of Penama Provincial Council says while his organisation welcomes the new dawn towards economic prosperity for Maewo, the Forum wants to work with the Government to make sure that new services planned for introduction on the island are of “quality standard” as expected by the Government.
“What the Forum hopes to contribute is to advise the Government of the priorities of the island, knowing that the Central Government also has its priorities”, he said.
The Chairman says one of the Forum’s priorities is to seek assistance from the Government to identify and safeguard the island’s water sources by turning them into conservation areas.
Chairman Boelum is speaking opposite the roaring waterfalls while children frolick in the sparkling pools, a beautiful scene reminiscent of the once spectacular Mele Cascades opposite Mele Maat Village on Efate.
Chairman Boelum says the Forum wants to work with all delegations that arrive on the island to make sure that their projects fall in line with the Forum’s Strategic Plan.
The interview coincides with the visit of the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Forests, Fisheries and Biosecurity, Matai Seremaiah and his Acting Director General, Benjamin Shing and Staff to the island two weeks ago.
The purpose of the visit was to harvest the first prawn farm at Naone.
The Minister of Public Utilities, Jotham Napat has kept his word to bring machines to build the road on the island, while the Minister Seremaiah has assured the people of the arrival of a tractor to dig the sites of new prawn farms to turn Maewo into a prawn farming island.