Solomon Ports yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) for the provision of Traffic Lights, warning signboards, and road markings for Honiara City.
The signing was conducted by SIPA’s Chief Executive officer Eranda Kotelawala, and the Permanent Secretary of MID Stephen Maesiola at MID’s headquarters in Honiara.
A statement from SIPA says the agreement will govern the provision of Traffic Lights, and other materials for the upgrade of identified sites near Honiara’s Central Business District.
“The installation of the traffic lights, warning signboards, and road markings are voluntary work done by SIPA to enhance the safety of road users in Honiara,” the statement said.
“Solomon Ports has already been in discussions with Honiara City Council, RSIPF’s Traffic Unit, and MID over the past months to discuss matters and ways in improving traffic safety in Honiara City,” it added.
“The assistance is also to assist the government in promoting road safety for road users, and to educate drivers and pedestrians on how to use road signs the right way.
“The total cost of all the materials, equipment, and the installation is $250,000, which is fully funded by SIPA.”
Speaking during the signing, SIPA CEO Kotelawala thanked MID for engaging in discussions over the past months in planning the rollout of this assistance.
He said SIPA recognizes the need for proper pedestrian crossings in especially the busiest parts of Honiara City, and where pedestrians are more vulnerable to car accidents.
“As one of the country’s leading SOE, I believe it is also our social responsibility to help the community, and we are also thankful to have support from the government in enhancing the overall outlook and appearance of Honiara City,” he said.
“Also, this will instill a culture of discipline for both the pedestrian to cross in the appropriate place, and also to drivers to respect pedestrian crossings and road signs as well.”
Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary of MID Maesiola acknowledged Solomon Ports for assisting his ministry, as it was also inline with the resolutions of the Road Transport Board, which is to improve road safety in Honiara.
“I’m happy that Solomon Ports has taken up the responsibility to assist us, the government, and the road transport board, by installing all these traffic lights and signs in our roads,” he said.
Solomon Ports will appoint a taskforce team to carry out the installation of the road safety equipment’s and signs, where installation are expected to commence soon this year.
Solomon Ports will also do regular maintenance of the traffic lights and road signs, once they are completed and in operation.