THE national government through East Malaita Constituency Office (EMCO) is committed to implement the road infrastructure development in East Malaita to improve constituents’ accessibility to basic services.
This is evident in several new feeder road infrastructures constructed by the government through EMCO in the region.
These new feeder roads area include:
- Baunakunu 6 kilometres feeder road still under construction.
- Fauia 4 kilometres feeder road also still under construction.
- Naoasi to Taba’a, an estimated 8 km stretch of road. Implementation started in 2019 and construction is still ongoing with the intention of extending it further Magwaru;
- Faumamanu to Taba’akwaru, an estimated 4 kilometres feeder road built in 2018; and
- Faumamanu to Kereth Market, a 3 kilometres feeder road built in 2014.
“Road infrastructure plays a critical role by providing flexibility for the efficient movements of people and goods, as well as providing accessibility to a wide variety of social and economic activities,” Constituency Project Officer (CPO) William Kwalemanu said.
Mr Kwalemanu said East Malaita is one of the constituencies in the country where most of its people reside inland and access to road infrastructure and other government services remains a challenge.
“So, our aim is to help people living inland to have access to government services and connect them to the outside world through road infrastructure, which is one of the top priorities in our constituency office development plan.”
He said to ensure people meaningfully participate in social and economic activities, road access should always remain the top priority.
“Life is tough for our people, especially when they must travel the mountainous and dangerous bush paths to access basic services such as health services, markets, education and trade. These roads will make life easier for people in our constituency,” Mr Kwalemanu said.
Baunakunu and Fauia feeder roads are new roads and construction work is still progressing now.
Faumamanu to Taba’akwaru feeder road was built in 2018 while Faumamanu to Kereth Market feeder road was constructed in 2014.
Naoasi to Taba’a feeder road was built in 2019 and construction is still ongoing with plan to reach Magwaru community.
A recent visit by the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) team to the area saw people traveling by trucks, bicycles and others just enjoying walking the new roads to access basic services such as health, education, market and trade without any problem.
A constituent, Pastor Silas Labukwasi from Naomanasao village in Ward 16 said these road developments are new positive changes.
“Our people in the highlands have struggled for so long. Before they have to carry their produces on their shoulders climbing mountainous roads to their homes and the markets.
“Even house building material must be carried on shoulders over long distances from where the main road stops to their homes in the interior of East Malaita.
“To take a very sick person to the nearest clinic was once a very difficult task but with the construction of the feeder roads in our constituency, life is easier than ever before,” Pastor Labukwasi said.
“Yes, life has changed greatly. People are now travelling by trucks to reach their homes and for this, I must commend our Member of Parliament Manasseh Maelanga for his visionary leadership in ensuring such important infrastructure development reaches our constituency to help people access government services without much difficulty.
“With these roads and other development assistance from our national government through our MP, people from the highlands and coast can travel on proper roads to access government services and to sell their crops at the markets,” Pastor Labukwasi said.
The Faumamanu to Kereth Market feeder road was constructed by Trades Transformation Company (TTC), whilst the Eastern Esteem which is the East Malaita Constituency construction arm carried out the construction of the other feeder roads and also carried out maintenance work on the East Malaita Road.
The Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) is supporting the constituency with machineries.
Priority for EMCO, which is also helping in road works in East Malaita, is to extend the Taba’akwaru road to reach Namoia Community High School in the Kwaibaita region. This will connect East Malaita Constituency by road with East Kwaio Constituency. Plans are also in place to extend the road linkage to the Central Kwara’ae Constituency.
The proposed road linkage to Central Kwara’ae will begin from Okwala village and ran through Busuoneh village, Taba’a, Fulisango, Kilusakwalo, and to Auki town. This proposed road, which will run along the mountain ridges and descend to Kilusakwalo village, is a shorter route and will only take an hour to travel from East Kwara’ae to Auki town.
Apart from the new feeder roads, the East Malaita Constituency is also utilising its CDF allocations to patch road sections from Dala in West Kwara’ae to Atori. This road is regularly used by travellers from West Kwara’ae, East Malaita, Fataleka, East Kwaio and East Are’are.