A new Kwaiafa bridge in Ward 15 of East Malaita Constituency (EMC) was officially opened to traffic Friday last week (19th August 2022) replacing the old structure that was broken-down for over 20 years.
Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister for the Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) who is the Member of Parliament for EMC Honourable Manasseh Maelanga officiated the official opening and is witnessed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Dr. Samson Viulu together with landowners, resource owners, chiefs and community members in and around Kwaiafa.
PS Dr. Viulu accompanied DPM Maelanga to EMC to witnessed the official handing over of building materials and the commencement of construction work on the constituency’s mini-hospital project at Tatali, Atori that is funded by People’s Republic of China (PRC) through the government Constituency Development Fund (CDF) programme administered by the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD).
Government through MID funded the construction of the new bridge with construction work done by the Aluta Bros & Sons Company.
Speaking at the official opening, DPM Maelanga said that East Malaita has gone through many challenges in terms of road infrastructure.
“Our road is the highest road in the Solomon Islands because it runs through high mountains and valleys and that is why you will always see us struggle. The road always deteriorated because our province always experienced bad weather and heavy rain,” he said.
However, Hon. Maelanga said that as the Minister responsible for MID and a Member of Parliament for EMC he is happy to witness the opening of the new bridge.
He said the national government through his ministry is committed and will continue to render help towards road infrastructure development within East Malaita to guarantee transportation services are accessible to support and improve our rural people’s livelihood.
Hon. Maelanga then acknowledged Aluta Bros & Sons Company for the construction work and making sure the project is successfully completed.
He also thanked landowners and resource owners for their support towards the contractor and for availing resources towards the bridge construction.
Community representative Jared Wisi also thanked the government through MID for the funding support and also acknowledged Aluta Bros & Sons Company for the construction work.
“This bridge has been broken for many years, thus forcing vehicles to cross the river to get to the other side. And during heavy flooding, vehicles are finding it hard to cross the flood which sometimes causes passengers to sleep overnight at Kwaiafa school until the flooded river is crossable. But now that the bridge is fixed, that problem is now over.”
Robert Havi, a teacher at Kwaiafa Community High school, also expressed his appreciation to the government through MID, Landowners, community members and all parties that contributed towards the successful completion of the bridge.
He said that the construction of the bridge demonstrates the government ‘s continuous commitment towards rural development undertakings in the rural areas to support people’s livelihood.
speaking on behalf of Eastern Region vehicle owners, is Thompson Atoa.
“For many years we spend long hours sitting here during bad weather and bad conditions of flooding. We had sleepless nights and spent a lot of money for extra costs at this bridge. But today these challenges are now over as we witness the successful completion and opening of this bridge.”
Mr. Atoa also recognized the government through Hon. Maelanga for the continuous support towards road infrastructure development in East Malaita. He also thanked the EMC office for the patching work on deteriorated sections of the road to make sure transport owners continue to provide transport services to the people of East Malaita Region.
He then acknowledged all the stakeholders that put their hands and efforts together towards the construction of the bridge.
Contractor rep Ruddy Aniala thanked MID for the trust and confidence they have in them to carry out the construction of the bridge.
Mr. Aniala said they have faced many challenges during the course of the construction work but they were able to get over them and successfully completed the bridge.
Kwaiafa bridge is one of the many bridges that Aluta Bros and Sons company will build along East Malaita road this year under the contract it had with MID.
The East Malaita road serves four constituencies which include, West Kwara’ae, EMC, East Fataleka, East Kwaio and East Are’are.