Vincent Verheyen (VincentVerheyen.com)
Clear the rusty shipwreck “MV Yandina” from the Honiara Central Market boat ramp!
The Honiara Central Market, in the capital of the country Solomon Islands, holds the largest fresh produce and fish outlets of the country. It's an important centre of the country, to say the least.The boat ramp of the market is located a few meters away from the market stalls. This boat ramp (depicted on the picture above) is “an important symbol of the value that Solomon Islanders place on the freshness of their fish”, as UN WOMEN puts it.The neglected rusty and dangerous shipwrecks at the market's jetty are used by daredevils to hang out, and by children to play. The body of a deceased adult female had to be recovered from underneath one of the shipwrecks in 2014. In January 2016, the head of the Solomon Islands Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Advocacy Association (SIIPHRAA), Moses Ramo, said that the condition of the Central Market is unacceptable, referring to its dirty state. He also insinuated that its uncleanliness is negative for tourism.In February 2016, another Solomon Islander wrote a letter to one of the country's two main newspapers. The man, Joss Denn Jnr, pleaded for the removal of one of the shipwrecks and raised the concern that the shipwrecks obstruct other ships from berthing at the boat ramp. Removing the shipwrecks would be beneficial to shipping operators. In March 2016, market vendors at the Central Market from at least five different provinces of Solomon Islands urged the immediate removal of the two shipwrecks at the market jetty.A post of 23 July 2016 by a Solomon Islander on the social network Forum Solomon Islands (a Facebook group counting 16,516 members on 26 August 2016) has raised questions surrounding the responsibility of clearing shipwrecks left behind at the coastal waters of Solomon Islands. Group members mostly raised concerns about environmental issues, and most of them argued that the responsibility of the clearing of these vessels was that of their owners. By 26 August 2016, the post had already received 28 replies from 23 different people. Further more, it was liked 81 times which is twice the average amount for the social network group (calculated from the latest 50 posts with recent activity on 26 August). Although research has shown that shipwrecks actually provide a niche for a variety of marine life, this does not negate the leaking of toxic substances or the importance of social and economic concerns. Especially apparent are such economical and social concerns in the case of the wreck “MV Yandina”, which lies right in front of the Honiara Central Market boat ramp, at Mendana Avenue. Presumably few people have been at the market and not noticed this horrific face at the heart of the capital. The shipwreck needs to be cleared (in a manner responsible to the environment) from the wharf of the Honiara Central Market, because: the wreck is obstructing daily market vendors from berthing their boats which carry market produce; the same counts for other vessels, such as those of shipping operators; the rusty wreck poses physical danger to people around the wharf; the ugly wreck is polluting the view of the market, creating a neglected (or even deterrent) atmosphere for locals and tourists alike. The vessel “MV Yandina” has been lying there neglected for multiple years now (it is e.g. visible in a picture published in a 2009 source). Researching the ownership of the boat led back to Sir Thomas Koh Chan (Chinese: 陳國強), a wealthy businessman and former Minister of the country.We, the undersigned, think that the thousands of people who day in day depend on, live at (and for some, even sleep at) or visit the Honiara Central Market deserve a clean, safe, accessible and prettier wharf; we peacefully demand the owner of the ship to immediately and responsibly remove the wreck from the market area.Please sign the petition and share it with others. Further reading “Honiara Central Market”, English Wikipedia. Note regarding the petition image This petition's image comes from an album of pictures of the vessel, photographed on 25 March 2016. All of its pictures are available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license, which means anyone is free to modify them or use them in your own content.