State Owned Enterprise, Solomon Islands Water Authority, trading under brand name Solomon Water has introduced its new board chairman Donald Marahare to Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare.
Chairman Marahare took over from outgoing chair Carson Korowa.
In his brief remarks, Mr. Marahare thanked the Government under the PM’s leadership for ongoing support to Solomon Water.
He said, there’s a sterling mix in the current board- experienced, innovative, spirited and visionary.
Solomon Water CEO, Ian Gooden also took time to brief Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare, the challenges and successes of the State Owned Enterprise in this unprecedented time.
“Solomon Water experiences very significant growth in customer numbers largely due to various development partner programs saying, this assists in revenue but also drives the need for additional staff, costs and expenses.”
It has awarded a USD 16 million contract for Kongulai water treatment plant and USD 7 million Honiara reservoirs construction projects. The treatment plant project should be completed before the 2023 Pacific Games, adds CEO Gooden.
In the face of current challenges, SW strides on. Next week it will announce a USD 7 million contract for the construction of 11 km of trunk water mains.
CEO Gooden adds, a feasibility study for the Bina harbour is ready to commence, awaiting funding confirmation.
For the Pacific Games 2023, almost SBD100 million of work will be required to prepare for the Games. Some of the components are development partner funded while several projects will be financed by SIG.
Sewage services for Honiara and provincial water supply upgrades, together with pipe replacement to reduce loss are largely un-funded.
On challenges, the payment of accounts especially from Government Ministries is a major challenge. Total SIG water debt exceeds $7million.
On COVID 19, SW basically focused on essential operations. Travel restrictions have caused significant difficulties and delays with major donor funded works.
Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare congratulated the New Solomon Water Chair, Mr. Donald Marahare saying discussions will continue on important matters.
“You are not new to Solomon Water having been on the board for years now. Solomon Water is in capable hands.”
The Prime Minister further thanked Solomon Water for its ongoing support and appreciated the progress made regardless of COVID 19. It’s been a challenge.
The Pacific Games project is vital.
“Solomon Water’s main objective as with other SOEs is to deliver service to the people of Solomon Islands. Profits should be used to further improve services through the user-pay system,” reminded PM Sogavare.
He stated, Cabinet will soon update its decision on current restrictions.
Prime Minister Sogavare said Government Ministries owing Solomon Water in debts are being reminded to take responsible action to pay up their dues.