Isabel 37 years old but without needed infrastructure: Kikolo

Isabel Premier Leslie Kikolo.
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Isabel province, despite being 37 years old, is still with the “least infrastructural development”.

It is the longest island in the country, but with the shortest road.

Isabel premier Leslie Kikolo revealed this in his Second Appointed Day remarks yesterday.

He said it is a generational challenge to the people of Isabel.

Mother Union members part of the parade yesterday

He said many lives have been lost due to poor road conditions as people have to cross rivers and travel by boat to reach their destinations, and this has made the provincial government to prioritise constructing of road access as it will be the only solution to these problems.

Addressing prime minister Manasseh Sogavare, the guest of honour, Mr Kikolo said: “Honourable PM, we are in dire desperation for the National Government to boost our efforts in building the network around the Island.

“This would alleviate many of the challenges stoppings our people from progressing well into the era of technology.

“Moreover, it is saddening to know having access to submarine cable that delivers super speed internet connection and Buala town is still on 2G communication technology.

“We call on the four IXP providers in the country and the government to seek solutions for the province.

“I believe in this age and time, solution to connect the last mileage are numerous and we just need to find the right, we should also encourage small innovative technology companies to participate in seeking for the solution, rather than look always on big traditional companies and expensive technologies,” Kikolo said.

Schools participating in the parade at the opening of the Isabel day celebration

Another concern by the province is the upgrade of the Buala wharf. There have been assurances given to the province for maintenance and upgrade by donor partners, and various visits and assessments have already been made by technical officers from the Ministry of Infrastructural Development and other donor partners.

“Honourable Prime Minister, it is sad to learn that nothing has been done up to now, this is still our priority and we need your current national government to take note and quickly address this our concern.

“Therefore, competing with other eight provinces for financial resources and support from the national government and donor partners will always remain a challenge for Isabel province,” Kikolo added.