The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved support of almost US$150 million to boost land and maritime connectivity in the Solomon Islands. ADB is providing a grant of US$74.5 million sourced from the Asian Development Fund and a concessional loan of US$74.4 million for the Solomon Islands Land and Maritime Connectivity Project. The government of Solomon Islands is contributing the remaining US$21.8 million of the project’s overall cost of almost US$171 million.
The project will provide urgently needed repairs to one-third of the country’s road network and half of the country’s wharves.
“Considering 80% of the population lives in rural areas, this new investment project will have a measurable impact for hundreds of thousands of people in Solomon Islands,” says ADB transport specialist for the Pacific Tomoaki Kawabata.
The project will support the rehabilitation and upgrading of about 35 kilometres of roads in and around the capital, Honiara, the construction of two provincial wharves at Ahanga and Kira Kira, and improvements to the old wharf at Honiara International Port.
The project is set to increase access to markets, clinics, and schools, while supporting the disaster resilience of the transport network in Solomon Islands. Climate proofing will be a key component of all the road and wharf upgrading under the project.
The capacity of the government’s Ministry of Infrastructure Development will be strengthened by the project, through improvements in the transport infrastructure maintenance practices in Solomon Islands. It will assist the government in planning, project preparation, procurement, and other transport sector institutional reform.
The ADB-supported project will complement the improvement works on road sections of the east–west Guadalcanal corridor financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.