Tanna Member of Parliament, Andrew Solomon Napuat has handed a loader to the Tanna Sustainable Empowerment Association and chiefs in North Tanna.
The people in the community will take ownership of the heavy equipment machine and utilise it to clear their roads, playing grounds, mamas’ market venues and gardening.
In celebrating the historical achievement yesterday, MP Napuat reminded the people about the Chinese proverb: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
The machine will only be used for charitable work as it is a donation to achieve the mission of the association, which is to empower communities and the people in a sustainable way.
“We have reached 40 years therefore maturity and sustainable empowerment are key principles that must be in the minds of our people in order to achieve economic self-reliance,” MP Napuat said.
He said in a lockdown situation, people and leaders must work to support and empower the people and their communities.
“We must give them the tools and machinery and empower them to be self-sufficient,” he said. “After the term of government in the 11th legislature, I had saved up some money to travel and make a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Jerusalem, and visit holy sites in Israel before going for elections.
“It was there on holiday that I met a Pastor also on pilgrimage representing the SPIND Foundation in London.”
He said after a good conversation and making several proposals in writing, the SPIND Foundation explained they were interested in funding the Lord’s work in Asia and The Pacific.
It was then that during the pandemic and lockdown, MP Napuat assisted the Tanna Sustainable Empowerment Association to request the SPIND Foundation to assist with the loader machine.
MP Napuat has assisted NGOs operating on his island in the past years like Bridging Health Inc. to pay for the cost of shipment of containers of medical supplies to remote areas around Tanna.
The MP also paid and sent a container containing housing and shelter items to Tanna. In addition, his yearly MP Allocation Report such the recent report that was published in December 2020 clearly detailed how he spent his MP allocation.
“It is high time for people to focus on the productive sector,” he said. “Therefore, MPs and Leaders must help their people with empowerment initiatives instead of giving bags of rice that will not bring any change to the lives of the people.”
The Chiefs and the people who are members of the Tanna Sustainable Empowerment Association were happy and remarked that this is a historical initiative because the remote areas who have been complaining for the last 40 years will now have an opportunity to utilise a machine that will help them with sustainable livelihood activities.
“The machine is for the chiefs, the community leaders and their people, we need to trust them to manage it in a way as to serve all members of the community,” MP Napuat added.
“I have done my part as your elected MP, I do not own this machine, you the people own it, your association will own it, do not hire or rent it, use it for charitable purposes only as required.”
The Tanna Sustainable Empowerment Association and the chiefs stated that their people voted for all MPs from Tanna so they will be approaching the other six MPs from Tanna to assist them with their empowerment initiatives in the future.
The MP concluded it is time to work on the ground, saying “do not sell it, use your hands, your tools and machine to develop it and make our nation prosper”.