Unfortunately, Solomon Islands has very little manpower that possess the requisite skills and expertise to ensure roads are built and maintained to withstand ongoing down pours and weather storms, especially in Makira, Malaita and Guadalcanal.
All local personnel hired are sometimes engaged under the supervision of donor consultants and contractors. To date, we only have very few structural and civil engineers, surveyors and road maintenance specialists. It is always cumbersome to maintain our physical infrastructures due to cost and unreliable machines. The city council and provincial governments always perceived donors as the 'builder' and 'maintainer' as they don't have the budget to carry out such arduous tasks of maintenance. Donor agencies have done a great job in building/rebuilding our infrastructures. It the obligation of governments at all levels plus the community to ensure these infrastructures are properly used and frequently maintained.
More often than not, it is difficult to decipher whether a particular infrastructure is properly planned, engineered, and constructed. This is because we don't have enough knowledge and the requisite skills to ensure whether or not they are properly done. It is however, the responsibility of each governing authority and communities to ensure the sustenance and utilization of these infrastructures. Communities and the general public should play an integral part in the sustenance of these roads, wharves and bridges, etc. These are very expensive utilities to either build or maintain. After all, physical infrastructures enhances economic activity and development.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of Steve D and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.
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