Solomon Water’s 30 year Strategic Plan implementation received a huge boost on Wednesday 25 September, with approval by the Board of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) of a total funding package in excess of USD 72.8 m (SBD 580 m) for the next 7 years.
On top of the development Partner contributions above, which are a combination of grant and concessional loans, SIG is providing around USD 11m (SBD 88m) in tax exemptions, and Solomon Water USD 9m (SBD 72m) into the project over the next 8 years.
SW Chairman Mr. Carson Korowa expressed his thanks to the ADB, World Bank and European Union for their support and confidence in Solomon Water’s ability to manage this major works programme.
Solomon Water CEO, Ian Gooden commented that “ this is the culmination of over 4 years work to prepare the 30 year Strategic plan, negotiate with the development partners plus our Government and prepare the Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Project (UWSSSP) ..”
One of the key projects under the project is the construction of a treatment plant for Kongulai water source, which will address the ongoing water outages experienced in Honiara caused by ongoing illegal and unmanaged logging in the Kohove water catchment area.
Other projects under this funding package include:
- New trunk water mains in Honiara to allow better transmission of water across the city
- New storage reservoirs to store water in case of supply disruptions
- Major upgrade to sewer systems in Honiara to stop direct discharge of raw sewage onto beaches and the Matanikau river
- Installation of pre-paid CashWater meters to domestic customers
- Rebuilding of pump station and reservoir storage in Auki
- Renovation and improvements of water systems in Tulagi and Noro
- Construction of new water supply for Gizo
- Construction of new water supply for Munda
- Urban WASH programme to support improved water and sanitation in informal settlements
- Pipeline replacements and system improvements to reduce water loss through leakage and theft by illegal connections.
Construction of the first of these projects (Auki water supply upgrade) is already underway, with the majority of the major projects commencing by mid-2020 and being completed around late 2021.
The total Strategic Plan programme remains around USD 90 m short of funds and several key projects cannot yet be funded, including the proposed SBD 400 m Lungga water treatment plant needed to supply the city into the future, and to be sure there is enough water for the 2023 Pacific Games. Mr. Gooden said “we continue to work with SIG and other development partners for further funding to complete the necessary projects and are hopeful other donors will also assist us in this huge work programme.”
Another project yet to be funded is the construction of a new head office and works depot to allow Solomon Water to operate more efficiently from a single location and better serve our customers. The current offices at Mataniko is in a very dilapidated condition, too small for current operations, and earmarked for rebuilding for more than 6 years ago.
Solomon Water is with you in working to provide safe water for the people of the Solomon Islands into the future.