Japan hands over kukum highway road 2nd phase
The Japanese Government has officially handed over the newly completed Kukum Highway Phase-2 Project to the Solomon Islands Government at Henderson today.
Work on the upgraded 6.3km of road which stretches from the Ministry of Fisheries to Honiara’s International Airport took 27 months to complete.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Japanese Ambassador to Solomon Islands, His Excellency, Yoshiaki Miwa said they are pleased to finally handover the upgraded highway.
He said the project together with the project for the Improvement of the Honiara international Airport are Japans major contributions to the Pacific Games.
“We are very pleased that this ceremony is successfully held today before the games. I am confident that this high way will play a major role in the long term development of Honiara,” he said.
The Ambassador adds, one of the main focus of Japan’s development assistance to Solomon Islands is infrastructure construction.
“The project for upgrading of Kukum Highway Phase 1 was undertaken from 2014 to 2018, the project for Henderson International Airport development from 1996 to 1998, the project for restoration of International Airport from 2004 to 2006.”
“Other important infrastructure projects include, for example, the project for construction of market and jetty in Auki, and the project for improvement of Honiara port Facilities.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare thanked the government and people of Japan for their continuous support.
Mr. Sogavare said the upgraded highway will improve business transactions by reducing traffic jams and will ensure that there is general flow of traffic.
He said the cost of maintaining vehicles should also drop as vehicle owners will not repair their vehicles as much as they used to because of the improved road conditions.
The Prime Minister then encouraged Solomon Islanders to take a good care of the important infrastructure.
“We must take good care of our road and this means we must clean it every day. We need to go back to the days when we have a permanent dedicated team that clean and maintain our roads every day, rather than waiting for potholes to appear before acting.”
“I call on the Road Transport Board to discharge its functions and exercise its powers under the Road and Transport Act to keep our road safe for all of us,” he added.
Mr. Sogavare also acknowledged Japan’s contribution through the multilateral partnerships such as Asian Development Bank and World Bank.
The 243 million Solomon Islands dollars project was fully funded by the Japanese Government and implemented by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
By Ian Kaukui