Poor Bridge and Wharf Conditions Affect Residents in Small Malaita

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BY JOHN HOUANIHAU

CONSTITUENTS in Small Malaita Constituency have raised concerns regarding the lack of improvement and deteriorating condition of key infrastructure within their constituency.

This infrastructure includes roads, wharves, and bridges, which are essential for the movement of goods and transportation for the rural populace within the constituency.

Over the past week, the constituents have flooded social media with uploaded photos of the deteriorating reality of poor and run-down key rural infrastructures on the ground, which have been underdeveloped for quite some time and neglected by their Member of Parliament (MP) for Small Malaita Constituency.

 
A typical wooden foot bridge in Su’ulaha, Small Malaita, Malaita province.

Rural resident of Small Malaita, Jerome Ahikau, told Environment Media that the majority of bridges in Afio and Olosu’u communities were built during the late 1990s through EU grant-funded projects and infrastructure projects initiated by former MPs and Member of Provincial Assembly (MPAs) of the constituency.

“Many of the bridges had already been damaged and deteriorated. They are the main transport route in the constituency. But now people are finding it hard when transporting goods from one place to another,’’ Jerome Ahikau, 34, said.

He described the condition of the Afio Wharf in Small Malaita as severely deteriorated and needing immediate repair and maintenance.

Damaged wooden foot bridge in Oloha, Small Malaita, Malaita province.

“We don’t know if our responsible leader in Parliament has noticed the disturbing conditions of the key infrastructures in the constituency. However, to date, we haven’t heard any positive feedback from our MP as to whether plans are in place to repair these infrastructures.

“The honorable doesn’t even hold talks or discuss these things with constituents. But during his previous election campaigns, this is what he promised: to maintain these infrastructures, roads, bridges, and wharves.

“People have been waiting in vain since he had already served three terms in Parliament as our political leader,’’ Ahikau argued.

According to RCDF consultation awareness held at SINU on July 2023 this year, organized by the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD), the total fund received by each of the 50 constituencies from the rural development projects from 2011–2022 to date is equivalent to SBD 60,992,000 million. As for Small Malaita, if the amount is divided between the three provincial wards in the constituency, the respective wards should receive more than SBD20 million.


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