Solomon Islands infrastructure program for the construction of six provincial markets

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A bird’s eye view of the new Gizo Market in Western Province.

Australia’s flagship Solomon Islands Infrastructure Program (SIIP) has agreed to fast-track the redevelopment of six markets in Malaita, Guadalcanal, Honiara, Isabel and Western Province, improve provincial ports and launch a new SIP website.

SIIP is in its first phase of implementation. Work on the markets project is expected to begin by December 2022.

These priorities were set at the second joint meeting of the SIIP Steering Committee, co-chaired by the Prime Minister’s Secretary, Dr Jimmie Rodgers, and the Australian High Commissioner, Dr Lachlan Strahan. Given the volume of important and urgent work ahead in the SIIP pipeline, the committee agreed to increase its meetings from every six months to quarterly.

The Prime Minister’s Secretary, Dr Rodgers, stressed that SIIP’s SBD 1.5 billion infrastructure program is crucial to realizing Solomon Islands’ economic potential.

“SIIP will work with our local industries to build capacity, ensure appropriate designs and create jobs while providing national infrastructure such as markets that drive economic growth.”

Australian High Commissioner Dr Strahan said social issues and economic growth were intertwined, and that the SIIP would boost local engagement and locally-led building activities where possible.

“The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of sustainable economic growth and has highlighted the need to create meaningful economic opportunities, both in Honiara and the provinces, for everyone, including young people. , women and marginalized groups,” said High Commissioner Strahan.

“For many, this means connecting gardens to markets to create household income. The new markets of Buala (Isabel), Malu’u (Malaita) and Seghe (Western Province) will guarantee people accessible and inclusive economic opportunities.

This will ensure the continued generation of much needed daily income, which Australia, through SIIP, is proud to facilitate,” he said.

Although based on the Gizo market, the design of additional markets will be adjusted to improve functionality and coverage of products such as fish.

Market locations in Honiara (one) and Guadalcanal (two) will be determined shortly.

The SIIP Hub briefed the Steering Committee, which includes the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries of National Planning and Development Coordination, Susan Sulu, and Finance and Treasury, Mckinnie Dentana, on the wide range of infrastructure activities to come from the SIIP, in particular by helping to build the port of Bina. in Malaita through a water and sanitation feasibility study and undertaking an assessment to upgrade and expand Noro Port.

The steering committee also noted progress on the New Zealand-led project to upgrade the Taro and Seghe tracks and the Australian-led design for the Naha Birth Center and Urban Clinic.

Dr. Strahan praised the program team for their flexibility, adaptability and accessibility to the changing economic situation in Solomon Islands.

“Despite the recent challenges of civil unrest and COVID, SIIP has laid the foundation for an ambitious ten-year program to build and strengthen the private sector.”

Dr Strahan said the SIIP complements a range of other development partnerships between Australia and the Solomon Islands, including the Australian Pacific Infrastructure Facility, the Australia Awards programme, the Australian Pacific Training Coalition and Strongim Bisnis.

“As Australia’s flagship investment in the Solomon Islands to promote national connectivity and build sustainable, climate-resilient infrastructure, the SIIP will work with these other programs to provide the main point of difference of the SIIP to traditional infrastructure projects – a long-term focus on inclusive infrastructure, capacity building, the inclusion of asset life cycle planning and local employment and business opportunities,” said Dr Strahan.

SIIP will continue to work closely with a range of partners, including the local business sector, to advance the initiatives approved by the Steering Committee.

Funded by the Australian Government, SIIP is a SBD 1.5 billion partnership launched last year between Australia and the Solomon Islands to strengthen Solomon Islands’ economic growth by helping government and industry plan, provide and manage economic infrastructure.

Source: Press SIIP

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