By EDDIE OSIFELO
THE British High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Brian Jones has highlighted the need to build infrastructures that will benefit the people.
Jones mentioned this during the 2021 Infrastructure Symposium held at the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) conference room last week.
He said, “research shows if you build the wrong stuff, it is not only a bad investment, it also causes further disruptions.
“So, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, suspected cholera increased to 150 percent after one day disruption of a pipe to water supply.
“If you build a wrong stuff and it fails, you are actually building a dependence on the infrastructure.”
Jones said disruption of infrastructure can cause middle income countries USD$150 billion a year
He said the long instances of power outages in South East Asia have been linked to decreases of women income possibly because the outages require more time to do domestic work
“So failed infrastructure and unsustainable infrastructure impacts across gender, disease and health care and across all the basic services,” he added.
Furthermore, Jones said there is a $8 trillion investment gap in infrastructure globally
“So, what is that mean for Solomon Islands.
“That means if you are bidding for World Bank and ADB funding, you are bidding for global environment, global climate funding, you bidding against other countries who may have better rules and regulatory procedures that may have better condition on the ground and they maybe able to share those donor partners and fundings investors that they could complete the project on time, on costs, on schedule, without land disputes, legal disputes,” he said.
Jones said so there is an element of competition that Solomon Islands needs to recognize with the global funds
Solomon Islands Chambers of Commerce and Industries (SICCI) organised the two days symposium to create a platform that will bring together all key role-players in this infrastructure investment space, who have the common goal of accelerating an infrastructure-led economic recovery plan.