The announcement was made in Parliament by the Minister for the Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MOFT) Harry Kuma when he delivered the 2020 budget speech on Tuesday.
Minister Kuma, in his address to Parliament highlighted that the Bina Harbour project will be seriously implemented by DCGA in 2020.
Quoting from the newspaper article, here is what Minister Kuma reportedly said:
“And this might come as good news to the people of Malaita and its provincial government.”
“I wish to confirm that the DCGA has placed a high commitment on various projects in Malaita including the Bina Harbour project.
“Bina is progressing well to date and most of the activities that were earmarked for 2019 have been achieved while others are deferred to 2020,”
He also confirmed that in the 2020 budget resources are allocated to open a Bina project office under the Ministry of Fisheries specifically to look after all activities of Bina Harbour.
Minister Kuma also confirmed that the Ministry of Fisheries is working closely with the New Zealand government to secure expertise, both locally and internationally, to assist with moving the project forward.
Minister Kuma mentioned that other support will come from the International Financial Cooperation (IFC) of the World Bank (WB) Group and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
“This paper understands that DFAT is also supporting the project by conducting a Hydro-graphic study of around the vicinity of Bina Harbour.
“I wish to inform Parliament that the first phase of a major maintenance and rehabilitation work of South road and bridges from Auki Township leading to Bina Harbour will commence construction around the second half of 2020.”
“He further added that this will draw on the financing agreement the government secured with the (WB) called the SIRAP Project.
“My intention is the secured additional funding with the WB Group under IDA 19 to continue the second phase, in order to fully rehabilitate both road and bridges that link Auki Township and Bina Harbour.”
“The same phase will also focus on the North and East road and bridges in Malaita,”
He further assured that the government, through the National Transport Fund 2020 work plan, will build a new wharf at Malu’u in North Malaita and rehabilitate at least 15 bridges along the North, East and South road.
“These infrastructure rehabilitations are aimed to stimulate economic activities and support other much needed services to our people in Malaita province.”
A day before I left the Solomon Islands on 19 July 1999, I made a farewell call on the then Prime Minister, the late Hon. Bartholomew Ulufa’alu, who was preparing to leave with some of his team for Bina Harbour in anticipation of a deal being struck to see the project off the ground.
Some 20 odd years since that occasion there finally seems to be positive news of the Bina Harbour project becoming a reality for the people of Malaita and a likely boost to the national economy of the country.
If the late PM was still alive, I feel sure he would want to congratulate all concerned, landowners and the government, for I know it was a real wish of his to see the Bina Harbour project achieved.