East Malaita constituency will no longer have difficulties to hire machines to do road maintenance within their area.
Yesterday, Parliament Member for East Malaita Constituency and acting Prime Minster Manasseh Maelanga handed over a new brand excavator machine worth $1.58 million to the constituency in Honiara.
“This machine is purposely for East Malaita constituency,” Mr Maelanga said.
He said the machine was purchased using public funds under the transport initiative formerly known as shipping grant.
Mr Maelanga said that with his constituency mission that is to build road access and improve roads within his area, his constituency committee in Honiara made a decision to purchase the machine instead of a ship.
“The main idea or mission behind this is we are looking forward to build roads especially for people living in the high lands.
“I think it’s time we must build road access through the whole constituency to make sure people from highlands have access to such important infrastructure like roads.
“Since independence people living in the highlands within the constituency are finding it hard to bring heavy materials back to their villages because there are no roads.
“Imagine them shouldering heavy project materials for 5 to10 kilometres up the mountains.
“Since we are supplying cement and other bulky materials for constituency projects, it’s better we build proper roads that will ease the burden of carrying bulky materials and goods on shoulder for long distances.
“That is way I decided to purchase machines to build road access to ensure road reach my people living in the mountainous homes,” he said.
Mr Maelanga said road is the most important infrastructure and ensuring road access to the whole constituency is his mission to accomplish.
“To upgrade the roads in East Malaita, sometimes we have to wait for government to tender it out for people or construction companies to do the road work but if we have our own machines like we have now, then there’s no need to wait for whoever to do the repair since we can do it by ourselves.”
Asked why he did not purchase a ship for his constituency Mr Maelanga said:
“If you can see, East Malaita constituency is between East Fataleka and East Kwaio constituency which already had a ship, so what’s the use of buying another ship for our constituency?
“We can only help out by boarding the East Kwaio ship which is travelling through the same direction of East Malaita,” he said.
He added that by having the machinery for his constituency, they can help out other constituency (s) like East Kwaio if they need machines to extend the Aufasu feeder road to Atoifi or even East Fataleka.
Mr Maelanga said by next week they will purchase a vehicle to go along with the excavator before shipping it to his constituency to ensure work gets off the ground.
He also pledged to purchase one more machine soon.
East Malaita Constituency was allocated $1.5 million of government grants administered by the Ministry of Infrastructure Development.
By STEPHEN DIISANGO/SOLOMON STAR