Roads and Aviation Project Moving ahead in Malaita, Western Province

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In Malaita and across Solomon Islands, roads, bridges, and airports are vital connectors between people, markets and essential services. 

In Malaita, the Solomon Islands Roads and Aviation Project (SIRAP) is moving towards the construction of three bridges and rehabilitation of roads that will ensure faster, safer and easier access to health services, education and family across the province. 

Tender processes and bid selections are underway for three bridges on the North Road (at Koa, Bio 1 and Bio 2) as well as unsealed road rehabilitation that will see major repairs to all 42 kilometres of the East Road and 17 kilometres of the North Road, improving connections and trade for thousands of Malaitans.

In Malaita, nearly 110,000 people (almost 70 percent of Malaita province population or 18 percent of the total country population) living in the 19 wards connected by the main roads included under the project are set to gain direct benefits from the project. An additional 15,000 people in five additional wards that connect to the main road network by boat will also see benefits from the project. 

In Western Province, the project is moving ahead with critical work on Munda Airport to ensure more reliable air travel to the tourism hub; supporting hundreds of jobs for the province, both during construction and through tourism opportunities in the future. 

Early designs for the Munda International Terminal have been submitted ahead of schedule and once work commences construction will be carried out over an 18-month period.  

The tender process for the refurbishment of the runway at Munda airfield is currently open. This activity will require specialised heavy equipment being brought into the province to ensure repair works are long-lasting and sustainable. 

“We are pleased to see SIRAP moving ahead in both Western Province and Malaita, which is where the majority of SIRAP’s roads work will take place,” said Moses Virivolomo, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communication and Aviation. “These important early preparation stages will soon lead to construction, delivering lasting benefits for the people of Western and Malaita provinces and beyond.”

“Long term investments in safer, more reliable and lasting transport infrastructure is key in ensuring our people and provinces can thrive into the future. These works in Malaita and Western Province will not only improve trade and access to markets but will connect people and families across the province with essential services and each other,” said Mike Qaqara, Acting Director of Civil Engineering in the Ministry of Infrastructure Development.

Despite the challenges being presented by the COVID pandemic we look forward to progressing this project as quickly as possible across the country. 

The Solomon Islands Road and Aviation Project is being implemented by the Solomon Islands Government, with funding from the World Bank. The US$56.1 million project is funded through a US$20.5 million grant and US$30.5 million credit from the World Bank, with the Solomon Islands Government providing US$5.1 million for complimentary projects and support.

ENDS

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