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It’s because of geopolitics, says Virivolomo


MINISTRY of Communication and Aviation permanent secretary, Moses Virivolomo has blamed geo-politics for the failed projects at Fiu bridge and Auki Township Road asphalt sealing in Malaita Province.

Both projects came under the Solomon Islands Road and Aviation Project (SIRAP) funded by World Bank.

China Habour Engineering Company (CHEC) had won the bid to implement the projects.

However, the Malaita Province Communique agreed that the province will not accept any People’s Republic of China (PRC) contractor on Malaita.

Virivolomo highlighted this as one of the challenges faced by the SIRAP National Steering Committee during the Launch Workshop of SIRAP 2 at Heritage Park Hotel yesterday.

He said Provincial Government support is crucial as well in such projects.

“It is very clear on Malaita project where my team tried its very best but don’t have the support from the province.

“In the case of Malaita, it is very complicated because it is geopolitics,” he said.

“I done a lot of projects in the last 30 years in Ministry of Infrastructure.

“I delivered a lot of projects for Malaita but this is first time I failed,” he added.

Virivolomo said it is not normal implementation issue but geo politics.

“Something we in government and provinces need to have some serious thought on how do we handle this kind of issue in future,” he said.

However, Malaita is still included in the SIRAP2 under road and bridges investments.

SIRAP 2 will seal Noro Township Road and build 4 permanent bridges in Malaita which include Kolofe 1 & 2 bridges on North Road, Su’u harbor and Bira village bridges on the South Road.