IN order to enable smoother traffic movement within and around Honiara, the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) urgently calls for improved management of the current road situation.
An earlier statement from SICCI described the overall and current road and traffic situations as imposing unnecessary costs on businesses already burdened with high operating costs in a slow economy.
“SICCI urgently calls for improved management of the current road situation to facilitate smoother traffic movement in and around the city. This is critical for enabling businesses to operate efficiently and maintain financial viability. We kindly request a prompt response to address this critical issue and collaborate on finding effective solutions,” the statement said.
Delay in Road Fixing Impacts on Businesses
SICCI Chair Qila Tuhanuku stated that they are deeply concerned with the current road condition affecting traffic from the east, central, and western ends of Honiara City.
“As the organization responsible for the private sector in the Solomon Islands, SICCI is raising its members’ concern to the caretaker government about the significant impact the current road situation is having on their businesses and the general population.
“SICCI members are very concerned about the lack of communication on timelines and updates of the road work impacting traffic and proactive mitigation by key stakeholders to ensure that it does cause adverse disruption to businesses.
“This situation is costing real financial losses for businesses due to reduced productivity, operational disruptions, declined sales leading to revenue loss, and increasing logistics costs. There is an extensive list of challenges and costs to businesses that basically translate to them having fewer financial resources to sustain and expand their operations; in addition, a stagnant business sector, in turn, contributes to a sluggish economy.”
“SICCI members have identified the following challenges resulting from the current road situation:
- Logistical Implications: The present road conditions are causing lengthy queues and traffic jams, diminishing the time available for conducting business, and impacting both the general public and businesses.
- Workforce Challenges: Employees are facing difficulties in commuting to work promptly, thereby affecting daily operations and the timely delivery of services or goods to clients.
- Ineffective Traffic Management: Police assistance in managing traffic has proven ineffective, with concerns over damage to vehicles leading drivers to drive slowly, exacerbating traffic congestion. Improving road conditions is crucial for efficient traffic flow.
- Negative Impact on Investment: The current road conditions reflect poorly on Honiara City, and the logistics challenges posed by the roads may deter potential investments in the Solomon Islands.
- Operational Difficulties: The overall road situation is making it challenging for businesses to meet deadlines and operate efficiently while adding costs to their operation in terms of repair and maintenance and overtime, to name a few.
- Quantifiable Impact: Figures from a recent survey with SICCI members concerning road construction progress in Honiara City indicate a significant impact on businesses, with 98% of SICCI businesses affected, 75% experiencing an impact on sales and revenue, and 67% expressing strong dissatisfaction with communication and updates from authorities,” the SICCI statement said.