JICA to build Kokopo-Rabaul link highway
The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will commence planning and construction of the Kokopo-Rabaul link highway at a cost of US$2 million.
Transportation and Infrastructure development is critical for the country. The signing of the records of discussion for this development took place between JICA, the East New Britain Provincial Government and the PNG Government through the Department of National Planning and Monitoring and the Department of Transport.
The signing will pave the way for the planning and construction of a durable highway for the people of East New Britain, funded by JICA with technical support from the PNG government.
“This two year project aims to enhance the capacity of the counterpart and to formulate a project for Kokopo-Rabaul Infrastructure Development Plan for the following main sectors, road, airport, port water supply and power.
“I would like to reiterate that JICA is proud to support development in not only East New Britain but also in PNG”, said JICA’s Chief Representative Masato Koinuma.
Secretary for the Department of National Planning and Monitoring Koney Samuel, said East New Britain Province is a tourism hub and it is important to develop this road link to attract tourists into the province.
Secretary for the department of Transport Roy Mumu while affirming Secretary Samuel’s remarks said the road connectivity plan is not just about building but to rehabilitate the ageing infrastructures to a quality standard.
Deputy Administrator for East New Britain province, Levi Mano while thanking the Japanese government for their ongoing support said the study and planning of this highway is critical as it will explain the changes that have caused the continuous deterioration of the highway following the 1994 volcanic eruption.
“This major infrastructure was one of the infrastructure that has always been affected. The 1994 volcanic eruption and the ongoing flooding around the caldera”, said Manu.
The Japanese government have a long standing relationship with the province and have been implementing a variety of projects like the Tokua Airport redevelopment project, currently under feasibility studies which will commence construction in 2022.