Government Resumes  work maintenance, construction on Bougainville roads, pledges completion of Arawa Hospital

Monday 1 July 2024

Prime Minister James Marape  greeted by children on his arrival at Arawa Oval for the launch of the Central Bougainville District Development Plan on Friday 28 June 2024. (picture: PM’s Media).

The National Government is committed to resuming maintenance and construction of  Bougainville  roads soon, with Prime Minister, James Marape, urging road contractors to return to work.

Mr Marape sincerely  apologized for the delay in road maintenance and construction, when he launched  the Central Bougainville District Development Plan in Arawa on Friday  28 June 2024,  citing the contractor’s stoppage.

He however  vowed to restart the projects, awarding K9 million to three contractors working on the Buka ring road and the Kokopau-Buin route.

“I want to see the upgrade done to the Kokopau-Buin road as soon as possible, and I also want work on the Buka ring road to restart and continue,” Mr  Marape said.

The Prime Minister also encouraged contractors to help local firms by working with reputable local contractors and incubating them for growth.

Minister for Works and Highways, Solan Mirisim,   is scheduled to visit Bougainville soon to address the issue further with the Bougainville Works Minister, and a Cabinet meeting in Kokopo is anticipated to approve more funds for Bougainville  roads.

The resumption of road construction is expected to provide much-needed respite to Bougainville inhabitants, who have long endured deplorable road conditions.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister also pledged to complete the Arawa Level-5 hospital before the next elections, committing the National Government to fully assisting the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) in getting the project underway.

“We will continue to give support in the 2024 budget, the 2025 budget and in 2026. Hopefully before we go to the next elections, the hospital is delivered.

“I look forward to ticking off this major project,” Prime Minister Marape said during his visit to Arawa on Friday.

He commended the   Bougainville authorities for completing and operating the Arawa School of Nursing, which was a significant step forward in the development of Bougainville’s health sector and its Central Bougainville district.

“It was a pleasant joy to arrive in Arawa and see for myself the college up and running, and fully functional,” he said.

The Arawa School of Nursing is one of two key priorities for the National and Bougainville administrations as they endeavor to improve Bougainville’s functionality in accordance with its unique autonomous demands.

PM Marape also acknowledged the accomplishments of the former Arawa hospital and the Arawa Technical School, calling them as “light bearers” for Bougainville prior to the crisis, and promised to work with Bougainville authorities to restore Arawa’s lost position.

The Prime Minister’s commitment comes as the ABG prepares to begin the implementation phase for the K70 million set aside for the development of the new hospital.

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