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Solomon Islands PM discusses low-cost Housing with visiting French Polynesia delegate

 Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and French Polynesia’s delegate for International, European and Pacific Affairs, Manuel Terai met and discussed the proposition of French Polynesia providing low-cost housing project for Solomon Islands.

He was in Honiara for the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) farewell celebrations last Friday.

The French Polynesian Delegate for International, European and Pacific Affairs said his President, Edouard Fritch tasked him to follow up on the initial discussions on the proposition the President had with Prime Minister Sogavare in Honolulu, Hawaii in September 2016.

He said French Polynesia has on offer several low-cost housing plans and one is the Individual House of two or three bedrooms that are built on stilts with concrete foundations.

Terai said the walls of the Individual House can be made of timber or plywood and has been proven to withstand floods in French Polynesia.

He said French Polynesia also offers cyclone shelters that can accommodate 700 to 800 people and this is ideal for accommodating a big group of people during times of natural disasters.

Terai said the French Polynesia low-cost housing project can also include the installation of SWAC (Sea Water Air Conditioning) upon request.

SWAC is a proven technology using deep cold water of the oceans to provide cooling solutions to coastal buildings and communities.

Terai said many hospitals in French Polynesia are operated by SWAC.

He said low-cost housing and cyclone shelters are suitable for Solomon Islands as a natural disaster-prone country, adding that Tokelau, Tuvalu and Kiribati have already expressed interest in French Polynesia’s low cost housing project.

Prime Minister Sogavare in response thanked Terai for following up on the low-cost housing proposition by the French Polynesia President.

He said given the seriousness by the President Fritch about the proposition, he is seriously considering sending a Solomon Islands Government exploratory team to French territory to look at the different low-cost housing plans on offer and will produce a report for consideration by the government.

The Prime Minister said such low-cost housing project is something to consider for the outer islands of Solomon Islands and it has the potential of attracting funding assistance from the Green Climate Fund.

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