USAID wharf project on Malaita halted due to land dispute



A wharf project proposed for Matangasi, Malaita Province to be funded under the USAID SCALE program is on hold due to land issues faced with the site for the project.

Matangasi is within the Mara Masike Passage in the southern region of Malaita province and was among other regions in the province that the SCALE program earmarked its projects to be implemented.

The Premier of Malaita Province, Daniel Suidani, confirmed the news, adding it did not go well with him.

He has however, accepted it with a call for greater understanding to make way for such important developments in the province to take place. 

Last Friday, Suidani held an awareness talk in Auki and relayed concerns raised by some people from the southern region, who asked if the SCALE program has plans for the southern region.

“Yes the southern region has a project, and it is the Matangasi Wharf project.”

Suidani said initially the SCALE program had proposed a wharf project for the Afio provincial sub-centre in the southern region of Malaita province.

He said after they learned that the national government also has a similar plan/project for Afio and where work is currently underway, they have to re-strategize and relocate to Matangasi (about a Kilometre into the passage from Afio).

He said later, the SCALE program was notified of a land dispute on the proposed site for the project, and it seems the Matangasi wharf project won’t eventuate for now.

Suidani said his office has learned from the SCALE program that funds allocated for the project is already in place and they are looking at other potential sites in the province.

He also said under the SCALE program was a similar wharf project for Luaniua in the Malaita Outer Islands, fisheries project for Adakoa, Gwaigeo and others.

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