A project map of the Malaita South Road Emergency Maintenance Project. Photo credit @ AHC

AUSTRALIA has provided SBD11 million to the Solomon Islands Government through the Solomon Islands National Transport Fund (NTF), for the Malaita South Emergency Road Maintenance Project.

The Malaita South Road is a key arterial road for Malaita Province and for communities living along the central and southern region of Malaita. The road services four constituencies along the South Road corridor, including Central Kwara’ae, Auki and Langalanga, West Kwaio and West Are’Are.

The road has been temporarily closed since January 2024, only accessible by 4WD vehicles, which has significantly impacted those communities along the road who had to resort to more expensive sea transport.

Australia’s Acting High Commissioner, Andrew Schloeffel, said Australia was pleased to partner with the Ministry of Infrastructure Development to improve transport connectivity in Malaita.

“The Ministry’s selection of a Malaita-based construction company to carry out the emergency works is another example of Australia’s commitment to supporting the Solomon Islands construction industry, supporting and creating job opportunities for Solomon Islanders.”

The contract signing which took place on Tuesday 25 June, was witnessed by Hon Manasseh Sogavare, Minister of Finance and Treasury, the Hon Manasseh Maelanga, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Acting Australian High Commissioner, Andrew Schloeffel.

Minister Maelanga said that the Ministry of Infrastructure Development was grateful for Australia’s ongoing support in the infrastructure sector.

Standing L-R) Andrew Schloeffel, Acting Australian High Commissioner, Hon Manasseh Maelanga, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Hon Manasseh Sogavare, Minister of Finance and Treasury witness contract signing of Malaita South Road Emergency Maintenance Project at Ministry of Finance and Treasury. (Sitting L-R) Mckinnie Dentana, Permanent Secretary for Finance and Treasury, Leslie Tarzan Holosivi, Managing Director, Trades Transformation Company Ltd and Allan Lilia, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Infrastructure Development countersigning the contract. Photo credit @ AHC

“We are thankful for this generous support that will assist the livelihoods of our people living along the Malaita South Road corridor.”

Also acknowledging the assistance, Permanent Secretary and Chair of the National Transport Fund (NTF), Mckinnie Dentana said Australian support was timely.

“The opening up of the road will stimulate socio-economic activities and contribute to economic growth. This is consistent with Solomon Islands’ macroeconomic priority to grow the economy.”

The project will deliver emergency road repairs of a 42km road section from Auki to Maoa followed by routine maintenance works.

Works are expected to commence in July 2024 and will be implemented over a 12-month period.


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