The Suidani-led Malaita Alliance for Rural Advancement (MARA) government’s rebellious stance on the switch of diplomatic recognition to China from Taiwan is after all not in vain. Rather, it earned him development partners and friends far and near that is ready to support his government’s development policies for the province.
Amongst the projects earmarked for 2020 is the much-talked-about Bina Habour in West Kwaio in Malaita Province. The harbour has undergone a hydrographic survey in November of 2019. Conducted by the Australian Government, the survey is a major step in the development of the Harbour Project to gauge the underwater geography and its suitability for ships. Bina Harbor Project holds huge economic value to the Province and the country.
The national government is also throwing its support behind the project and is doing everything it can to get the harbor project operational. The DPM is quoted to say that the national government is currently working together with the Malaita Provincial Government, other responsible ministries and the MP for West Kwaio to ensure domestic arrangements go on smoothly.
Recently, the national government announced that Bina Harbour Tuna processing plant is a top priority for 2020. Premier Suidani in a statement applauded the National Government for making Bina Harbour Tuna processing plant project a top priority in its 2020 budget. “This is welcoming news to my people of Malaita province and I must thank the national government for its support towards the project and I urge the government to follow through on its promise and commitment to the people of Malaita,” the Premier said.
Also in 2020, Malaita will witness the commencement of the other two major projects; a 17 km tar shield road and a new hospital to replace the current deteriorating Kilu’ufi facility. The 17 km stretch of road will link Bina to Auki and Auki to Dala and consultations are underway and engineers are on the ground to conduct assessments on the road.
The road project component will see a significant upgrading and maintenance of the 232-kilometer main road network in Malaita. These include the upgrading of four bridges, improvement of key vulnerable spots, improved safety, together with multi-year grading, resurfacing, and routine maintenance support by the World Bank. Innovative bridge technologies will also be piloted through this project, aiming to further enhance the sustainability of the network. An estimated 110,000 people living near the planned road will be benefiting from the road works.
Once completed, these projects will surely transform the economic landscape of the province for the better. It is further anticipated that these developments will attract more investors to boost and enhance rural development.
However, the imminent arrival of coronavirus has halted these developments as the country continues to divert resources to prevent, mitigate and contain the virus. The province remains optimistic that these projects will be attended to once COVID-19 is finally on the exit.
By: WILSON SAENI