‘We are innocent’ ADRA clears the air
Friday, 11 November 2011 08:40 http://www.solomonstarnews.com/news/national/...
THE Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) had declared its innocence in the saga which now develops into a political row.
ADRA country director Barry Chapman said ADRA did order solar panels after successfully submitting a quote to the Ministry of Mines and Energy as a typical tender or quotation.
“At a meeting with the Ministry, ADRA was asked to provide a quote to supply solar panels.
“ADRA submitted a quote as a typical tender or quotation,” Mr Chapman said.
He said the quote was accepted and the funds paid to ADRA who then paid the supplier.
He said ADRA did follow the required procedures but knew nothing about the whereabouts the funds was extracted.
“We were only interested in helping to order quality supplies at affordable price. The items will arrive next week and when that happens, we will advise the relevant government office. They will arrange the relevant clearances and storage of the goods for their distribution.”
Mr Chapman said ADRA is committed to working with any government of the day, implement their policies.
“Climate Change is having a real impact on many families. Decreasing dependence on fossil fuels will reduce payment for kerosene for each family, alternative energy options to improve economic viability at the village level is supported by ADRA Solomon Islands and this is in line with the Solomon Islands Government policy,” he said.
He said ADRA is not interested and will never get involve in politics, but will continue to help women and children in rural communities improve their standards.
ADRA Board Chairman Wayne Boehm said when ADRA was approached to assist with solar development; they saw that as a project that would assist the government meet its objectives by providing to local communities resources that would significantly help in its development and dependence on fossil fuel and address the issues surrounding climate change.
“ADRA’s name should in no way be used by individuals for their own personal or political agenda and advancement.
“ADRA is a relief agency,” Mr Boehm said.
He said ADRA staff work tirelessly to help people of the Solomon Islands and should be congratulated instead.
He said despite the accusations, ADRA remains committed and will continue to help people, all races and all beliefs.
ADRA came under spotlight last week after it was named as one of the recipients of the ROC funds allegedly dished out under the discretion of the Prime Minister which cause the current political impasse.
Member of Parliament for Rennel and Bellona Seth Gukuna last week called on ADRA to return the more than $1.3 million it received from the funds.
By EDNAL PALMER