By WALLACE KIALA
RURAL people must be empowered to address poverty among themselves first before they can meaningfully participate in socio-economic development, Central Governor Alphonse Moroi said.
Mr Moroi, an advocate for poverty alleviation since 2003, said yesterday that with the onslaught of the two LNG projects, he wanted the rural population of Central province to be prepared to be part of that change for the better.
He said to achieve this, leaders must ensure that their people were better resourced and mobilised to work together as community groups within their villages.
Mr Moroi made reference to a visit to Bereina this week where he handed over a new tractor and K20,000 seed capital for rice farming projects.
He also acknowledged a recent call by Deputy Prime Minister Sir Puka Temu in Tapini during Goilala Highway reopening for youths to rise up and plan their future by being involved in useful income generating activities in the community.
Mr Moroi said communities needed to be better resourced, adding that very little was achieved out of the DSIP funds from the Government, a district programme that had no, or very little change at the LLG and ward levels as there was no regular community-based capacity building.
He said what was allocated through DSIP still could not cater for the increasing cost of goods and services faced by the rural population.
“Provinces still have difficulty in effectively delivering services using recurrent funding.”
Mr Moroi said the LNG projects would result in a high influx of people from other provinces to the National Capital District and nearby Central province villages where land is likely to be sold indiscriminately to outsiders to settle on.
He said this would lead to other social problems for the Central province people.
“Rural people must adequately respond to a changing world and as next year’s budget is rural development-based, leaders needed to grab the opportunity and ensure their people fully gained from it through implementing village-based projects,” Mr Moroi said.