Four Wharves To Be Improved Under Domestic Maritime Support Project

HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS – Work begins today to upgrade and rehabilitate the Ringgi Wharf on Kolombangara Island in Western Province. The wharf is one of four wharves to be improved under the Domestic Maritime Support Project which is financed by the Solomon Islands Government, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Australian Government, and the New Zealand Aid Programme.

The project is constructing and rehabilitating rural wharves and jetties to improve safety and accessibility for economic and social activities. The project is also assisting the government in upgrading maritime infrastructure to make it less vulnerable to climate change and natural hazards.

The upgrading of Ringgi Wharf begins in February and will involve demolishing and clearing the existing timber wharf and the installation of a larger, reinforced concrete wharf.

For the first time, larger vessels will be able to dock safely at the upgraded wharf site, allowing more convenient and economical movement of passengers and cargo, and thereby improving quality of life in Kolombangara.

The new wharf at Ringgi will boost connectivity between Western Province and the rest of Solomon Islands, providing better access to medical facilities, educational facilities, and markets.

The construction of new wharves at Keru and Ngasini in Western Province, and Tatamba on Isabel Province, as well as a landing ramp at Uhu in Malaita Province, are planned for later in 2014 under the project.

The Domestic Maritime Support Project has also established a franchise shipping scheme to support remote communities. Improved shipping services and new wharves and jetties can reduce barriers to market access and promote the growth of rural production. The franchise shipping scheme under the project will also allow private operators to expand shipping services to commercially-unviable destinations.