Thursday, 1 July 2010 3:10 PM

Local Employment the Big Winner in Solomon Islands Police Housing Construction Project

Employment in the Solomon Islands construction industry will be given a strong boost with the announcement of the successful tender for the construction of 84 new houses for the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force.

Timber Construction Solutions, a leader in the supply of kit houses throughout the Pacific, will supply the kits for 84 houses throughout Solomon Islands over the coming year, in partnership with RAMSI's Infrastructure services provider, SKM.

The New Zealand-based company has supplied kit houses to Hawaii, Fiji, Tahiti, Japan, Korea and the Middle East, and beat more than 25 companies to secure the contract for the construction of police houses for the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF).

RAMSI Special Coordinator, Graeme Wilson, said one of the key strengths of Timber Construction Solutions' tender was its focus on partnering with Solomon Islands-based contractors to ensure the majority of building work was undertaken in Solomon Islands.

"The construction of the 84 new police houses is expected to inject approximately AUD2.5m (around SBD17m) into the Solomon Islands economy during the project," said Mr Wilson. "This is a big vote of confidence for the building industry in this country, and represents a significant number of jobs for Solomon Islanders."

The 84 houses will be built at Lata, Gizo, Munda, Noro, Rove, Henderson and Tetere, with construction expected to start at the Henderson site in late August 2010. Construction is expected to take approximately eight months.

The construction of the new houses has been jointly-funded by RAMSI's Participating Police Force and the New Zealand Aid Programme, and is an important step in RAMSI's efforts to help the RSIPF rebuild the confidence and conditions of its members. RSIPF Commissioner, Peter Marshall, said that the new police houses would signal the end of one of the biggest challenges in the RSIPF's development.

"Establishing policing as an attractive, long-term career option is one of the key long-term focuses for the RSIPF," said Commissioner Marshall.

"Providing comfortable, secure housing to officers is a major part of that process. It is fantastic to see that these new houses will soon become a reality."

The 84 new houses for the RSIPF are in addition to the refurbishment of existing police houses which is currently underway. An assessment of 34 houses on Malaita has been completed and tenders for their refurbishment will be sought soon.

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province