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Prep for Solo Games sputters to life

Renbel still waiting on first tranche of Gov’t funds


PREPARATIONS for the 2018 Solomon Games is slowly stirring to life with the recent signing for the release of the first batch of government funds, between the host province and the Ministry of Home Affairs.

In an interview with Island Sun, Renbel Premier Collin Singamoana relates that, having signed the grant document, they are now waiting on the Ministry to wire the funds into the province’s Solomon Games Taskforce’s account before they proceed with tendering out work on building new infrastructures and upgrading existing ones for the Game.

The Renbel province signed a grant-agreement with the Ministry of Home Affairs on January 30, through which the Ministry will support preparations for the Games by way of funds.

The grant will gross more than $13million, and last month’s signing signals the release of the first tranche of $3million.

The size of the government funds is in accordance with the Renbel province’s sports infrastructure development plan.

The first tranche is expected to cover the building of the multi-purpose hall, within a time-frame of three months.

“After receiving the first tranche, we will tender out the work. And this should take a month. After that, we aim to have the multi-purpose hall built in three months, inspected and passed for safety,” Hon Singamoana said

A second tranche worth $7million is expected after the first phase is completed, which should cover the construction of the main stadium.

This undertaking is proposed to take six months to complete.

“All in all, we are looking at completing the two main infrastructures; the main stadium and the multi-purpose hall, by the end of 2017.

“From there, the last phase, which we expect to be completed well before May 2018, is the upgrading of existing sports facilities in Bellona, Tigoa and East Rennell.”

It is understood that last year the Renbel executive formed a taskforce to oversee the implementation of development plans which will be funded by the Government grant.

Hon Singamoana says that the Ministry of Home Affairs is working directly with him and the taskforce, closely following on how the funds are being implemented.

Meanwhile, to clarify questions posed on social media, he comments that the Local Organising Committee (LOC) does not have a role in the implementing of the government grant in building the infrastructures.

“The LOC will come into play at a later stage, next year, when all the facilities are completed or nearing completion. That is because their role is basically to oversee the organising of the event, logistics and support to participants and hosts.

“At this stage, the main player is the Ministry of Home Affairs, and my executive is the implementing agent.

“Basically we build the infrastructures then the LOC comes and organises the games.”

Concerned public earlier raised questions via social media on the status quo of the preparations for the national event, many claiming that there is no work seen on the ground yet.

Premier Singamoana reassures his critics that he is optimistic that preparations will be completed successfully and in good time before the games begin mid next year.

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