Engineering and development consultancy SMEC has been appointed to design and overlook infrastructure projects in the Solomon Islands. The firm was appointed by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development in the country, to help with the construction of certain roads and wharves.

The range of projects falls under the Solomon Islands Sustainable Transport Infrastructure Improvement Program (STIIP), an Asian Development bank (ADB) supported initiative. The aim is to make infrastructure on the islands “safer and more climate-resilient,” according to the ADB website.

The project is also aimed at connecting some of the more remote rural areas to the main economic centres. SMEC will support this process by helping to construct some of the roads and wharves, after winning a competitive bid. The firm is well-equipped to manage the project, given its areas of expertise.

SMEC specialises in advanced engineering and design consultancy for a variety of sectors, including transport, energy, water and the built environment, among a range of others. The engineering consulting firm has been operational in the Solomon Islands since 1977, and has considerable experience with infrastructure development in the country.

Graham Jones, who is the Project Manager at SMEC for the new developments said of the STIIP, “This program addresses significant challenges for the dispersed population of Solomon Islands in terms of access to services and economic opportunities.”

Mike Qaqara, who is the Acting Director at the Ministry of Infrastructure Development’s Central Project Implementation Unit added, “STIIP will benefit our population by providing much improved accessibility and mobility through better and more reliable transport. This in turn will contribute to stimulating growth in our domestic industries, such as agriculture and regional trade, as well as expand socioeconomic opportunities for our rural and urban communities.”