HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS (3 February 2023) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today joined with the Government of Solomon Islands, the World Bank, Solomon Water, and members of the Kongulai Community in a groundbreaking ceremony for the Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Project.

Ministry of Mines, Energy, and Rural Electrification Deputy Secretary Daniel Rove led the inauguration ceremony for the project which will improve the quality and reliability of Honiara's water supply. He was joined by ADB Solomon Islands Country Office Unit Head Elmar Elbling, World Bank Acting Resident Representative for Solomon Islands Lodewijk Smets, Solomon Water Chief Executive Officer Ian Gooden, and other development partners, which marked the beginning of the construction of the project’s construction phase.

“The project will provide better access to safe water and improve sanitation in urban areas and help the government and Solomon Water address project environmental and social safeguard issues,” said Mr. Elbling. “The project will prioritize best practices for water utility institutional strengthening.”

“This groundbreaking is an important step toward safer, more reliable water for families and businesses across Honiara. We are pleased to be supporting the government and Solomon Water in this important work that will ultimately improve the health and quality of life of communities in Solomon Islands,” said World Bank Resident Representative for Solomon Islands Annette Leith.

"This is a significant milestone for Solomon Water and for the residents of Honiara," said Mr. Gooden. "We are thrilled to be able to provide Honiara residents with clean, safe water that they can trust. This new water treatment plant will be a valuable asset for Honiara for many years to come."

The new pumping facility will have the capacity to treat 15 megalitres of water per day using clarifiers, filtration, and disinfection. The new facility will require extensive earthworks before construction commences and will have raw and treated water pump stations. The plant will ensure that the water supplied to residents and businesses meets or exceeds international drinking water standards and World Health Organization standards for drinking water quality.

The SI$130 million project is being funded by ADB, the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility, and the European Union. 

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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