Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will start a K40 million four-year project with the Papua New Guinea government to start repairing selected rural gravel roads in 2014.
JICA chief representative Shigeru Sugiyama on Monday announced the start of the project in Morobe, East Sepik, West New Britain and Western Highlands at a meeting with Department of Works (DoW) secretary, David Wereh, and representatives of Japanese consultants Ingerosec Corporation and Oriental Consultants Co.
|Sugiyama and Wereh at the announcement of the four-year JICA rural roads project yesterday.-Picture by MALUM NALU|
The project seeks to assistant PNG, which is facing problems in road maintenance, by carrying out capacity improvement on its implementing agencies.
Through this, it hopes to strengthen to project implementation capacity of the DoW in-house staff in areas where private involvement is not involved.
According to a project overview, of the 8, 738km of roads under the jurisdiction of the DoW, 64%, equivalent to 5, 590km are national gravel roads which are the target of this project.
JICA will provide K32 million which provides for heavy equipment to revive the once-thriving plant and transport branch (PTB) and road building, while PNG will provide counterpart funding of K10 million.
Road sections of 10-20km will be built in the four provinces, meaning up to 80km will be built over the four years.
Sugiyama said research had shown that because of the limited number and excessive costs of domestic private contractors, 90% of the national gravel roads had been left in disrepair in PNG.
“This project seeks to assist PNG in tackling such road maintenance issues by carrying out capacity improvement on its implementing agencies,” he said.
“With the rural communities at the highest disadvantage to date, this project aims to break the hindrances caused by missing links in the main highway networks, and upgrade and maintain deteriorated and impassable national roads.
“With four implementing agencies, four target provinces, this four-year mission intends to strengthen the project implementation capacity of the Dow in-house staff through several crucial activities.”
Wereh gave a vote-of-thanks for the JICA support.
“We appreciate and acknowledge the support that JICA is giving,” he said.