THE Solomon Islands Government has commenced talks with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the rehabilitation of roads in Honiara and on the West and Eastern parts of Guadalcanal.
Following a request by the Prime Minister, he (Prime Minister) initiated talks with ADB representatives and was briefed on the current feasibility studies undertaken by ADB for the road rehabilitation program.
The rehabilitation program will include roads from the Western side from Town Ground to White River and White River to Lambi.
On the eastern side, the new rehabilitation road project will be from Henderson to Mbarande and from Mbarande to Aola.
This project will also supplement ADB-funded bridges in North-East Guadalcanal that were handed over to the Solomon Islands Government last year.
The ADB has assured the Prime Minister that the road rehabilitation infrastructures are ADB’s immediate priorities.
Head of ADB’s Extended Mission in the Solomon Islands Mr Amila Salgado yesterday led a specialist team from the ADB HQ in Manila to brief the Prime Minister on the proposed project.
Mr Salgado said the feasibility study report should be ready by August this year.
ABD’s Transport Specialist Juan Gonzales said the road project will include tarsealing and proper drainage systems especially on the road project from Town Ground to White River.
Prime Minister Hou encouraged ADB to continue to work closely with the Government to get the projects off the ground as soon as possible.
He said the Government looks forward to partnering with the ADB in these important road initiatives.
“As we all know, there is too much congestion in Honiara and the state of our roads has not been helpful. But with the current road infrastructure and the new undertaking by ADB, it would definitely help in easing the current situation,” he said.
Prime Minister Hou said the road infrastructure like maritime and aviation are important infrastructures in the country that will boost trade, investment and tourism in the country.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said he is impressed with the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) support to the Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA).
ADB and SIPA are currently working on a master plan to outline major reforms and plans to be undertaken by SIPA.
SIPA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Eranda Kotelawala also briefed the Prime Minister that work on the development plans to expand the ports in Noro and rehabilitate the port in Honiara are taking shape.
In Noro, Mr Kotelawa said given the increase of Purse Seiners offloading in Noro, they are looking at expanding the port to cater for at least the berthing of three Purse Seiner vessels and also allow for fast turnaround at the Ports.
In Honiara, the CEO also informed the Prime Minister that the Honiara domestic port is one of the busiest in the region and that expansion plans are also taking shape.
These plans includes the rehabilitation of the old International Wharf and the construction of four new additional jetties to cater for the demand at the domestic wharf.
The new jetties will be built in front of the old G-Province waterfront.