News of a large number of Unexploded Ordnances (UXOs) detected at the Taro airfield in Choiseul Province is part of activities under the Provincial Airfield Upgrades (PAU) project the government of New Zealand, Australia and Solomon Islands are jointly implementing.

The project is currently working to seal the runway of both the Taro airfield and Seghe airfield in the Western Province.

In preparation for actual construction work to start, Milsearch Pty. Ltd has been conducting survey activities at both Seghe and Taro airfield. UXOs detected were handed over on-site to the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team.

The RSIPF’s EOD team is responsible for the safe removal and disposal of the UXOs in accordance with international standards. UXOs located to date at the Taro airfield were being safely removed and disposed by the EOD team.

The Ministry of Communication and Aviation (MCA) is the lead government agency for the project. Supporting agencies include the Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MoFT), Ministry of Infrastructure and Development (MID), Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration (MCILI), Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA) and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT).

Both airfield are expected to be completed around January 2024. This project is intended to provide more reliable services to passengers and surrounding communities of Taro and Seghe. This project is anticipated to help improve connectivity across Solomon Islands increasing provincial economic development opportunities.

Source: RSIPF Media