THE demand for shipping services to the Western part of the country is still high.
A long time resident of Gizo Itu Kelly told the Solomon Star early this week in Gizo that shipping is a problem for the province for years now.
He said despite several inter-island vessels operating the route as far as Gizo, it is not enough during the peak times such as the school holidays and festive season.
The teacher by profession said as the population increases, the demand for travelling is high.
"But in our case, the inter-island boats are not enough," he said.
He cited MV Tomoko as a valuable investment for the province if it is now running.
Since December two of the main operators Shortland Shipping Limited and Elite Shipping through its fast craft Express Pelican have been running twice week service.
The newly introduced 360 Discovery had also provided some relief to the route.
After the New Year break, Bikoi 1 and Express Pelican had to make two runs in a week.
Bokoi 1, which arrived yesterday, left this morning for the western ports.
Due to poor shipping services, a lot of public servants, teachers and students are late to arrive back in Honiara to resume work and school.
Mr Kelly said the next peak time for traveling is the June holidays when students are returning home of the mid-year break.
He appealed to the Western Provincial government to do something about MV Tomoko.
Meanwhile, M.V Tomoko is still at Gizo suffering from engine problem.
By MOFFAT MAMU
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