UP in the steep hills of Titinge, a new small access infrastructure subproject was recently completed making daily travel much easier and safer for its users.
The new Jacob’s ladder is actually the second small access subproject under the Rapid Employment Project (REP) pilot activities agreed to by the Honiara City Council and the Guadalcanal Province.
It was built by 30 community members from Titinge 2 and Valeato communities who had previously undertaken a one week Life Skills Pre-Employment Training under the Rapid Employment Project in preparation for the implementation of their subproject. Work started on the 100-meter long Jacob’s ladder on 6 March 2018 and was completed after three weeks on 28 March. Total cost of the subproject came to around $62,000 including labour and materials. Completion could have come earlier if it were not for several days of heavy rains which interrupted work activities.
The Jacob’s ladder is a big leap from what was once a slippery track especially in the rainy season to an all-weather concrete foot path and ladder. Philistus Meke said she was able to apply what she had learnt from the Pre-Employment Training about ‘Safety at Work’ such as wearing proper work clothes and how to handle hand tools and now understands how concrete ladders are made. David Koevania, the group leader said he has picked up skills in ‘form work’, laying down wire mesh and scaffolding for the concrete to run along.
Christina who is a Form 2 student at Mbokona and Stella a Form 1 student said that it was very hard to get up the hill in rainy weather, and one has to find a safe foot rest and use the aid of a stick while going up or down the path. The Jacob’s ladder has changed all that now for them. It is no longer a tiring job like before and they do not have to take the long way around. It is also the women and girls who have to do the washing at the Community western top end of the ridge and the Jacob’s ladder has made a big difference in their lives in terms of easy access and time to get to and from the water source.
REP has already completed 49 community access infrastructure subprojects (41 Jacob’s ladders and 8 stream crossings/footbridges) around Honiara and in a few communities along its boundary with Guadalcanal Province.
The project’s Rapid Employment Scheme (RES) has now generated nearly 800,000 paid labor days (over half for women) and provided short-term employment to 13,000 people (including 6,900 women) in Honiara since the project began in 2010. The Pre-Employment Training (PET) has trained about 12,000 participants, and provided one on one coaching services to about 1,700 persons.
REP which is supported by the World Bank shall close by the end of 2018, but preparations to commence with its successor project called Community Access and Urban Services Enhancement (CAUSE) Project are now well underway. Building on the original parent project (REP), CAUSE will cover Honiara and additional urban and peri-urban locations in Guadalcanal, Malaita, and Western Provinces.
The project has been designed building on REP’s proven track record and the experience of the implementing agencies, HCC and MID, in partnership with GPA, MPA and WPA. World Bank-IDA has initially committed US$15 million in grant funds to finance.