Hatanga backs out of North Malaita road upgrade

A  deteriorating stretch of road in North Malaita. Photo credit: SIBC.

After months without payment from the Government, Hatanga Construction Limited has decided to terminate its work on road upgrades in North Malaita.

According to Jeremy Hutaloa, Hatanga’s liaison officer, the Ministry of Infrastructure Development has not paid the company for its work since March.

“All the work we have done, the two bridges we completed — we haven’t received any payment for it,” Mr Hutaloa said. “The company has waited so long and decided to pull out now.”

He said the company will pack up its materials and equipment and stop its work by Friday.

Mr Hutaloa said Hatanga’s contract with the Government stipulated that once the company completed certain bridges, it would be paid before continuing its work.

However, Mr Hutaloa said the company has been waiting for the payment for nearly six months.

Its machines were sitting idle and its notices to the Government went unanswered, so it decided it could no longer wait.

The Ministry of Infrastructure Development could not be reached for comment on the situation.

Mr Hutaloa said the work left to be completed includes six bridges in Ward 8, one major bridge in Ward 7, and the installation of culverts.

But he said the temporary bridges the company constructed will likely be damaged during the rainy season.

“We are concerned about our people in North Malaita,” Mr Hutaloa said. “We are really concerned, but when the Government doesn’t do anything, we don’t like it.”

By Fred Osifelo 

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