Progress on major Sanma infrastructure projects
The Sanma Provincial Government Council says a critical upgrade of the 65-kilometre South Santo Road will start in 2022.
The Secretary General for the Sanma Provincial Government, Albert Ruddley, says the road assessment is now complete, paving the way for the upgrade to commence.
He says South Santo is the most populated area council in the Sanma province and is one of the main suppliers of agricultural produce to the Luganville market.
He says a high volume of public transport vehicles rely on the road to ferry freight and passengers from South Santo to Luganville Town.
“South Santo Road Project is one of the major infrastructure projects in our province and we are looking forward to work getting started,” he said.
The Vanuatu Government has listed the project as a priority and in 2020, the World Bank approved a US$35.5 million loan and a US$30.5 million grant to support the upgrade.
Mr Ruddley says tar sealing and extending the road from Luganville Cemetery in southeast Santo to Malao in north Santo, down to Lajmoli in western Santo was the next big priority.
“We have been working to put together the project proposals and seek funding for the tar sealing of that road,” he said.
Mr Ruddley also reported that the reconstruction of health centres damaged by Cyclone Harold in 2020 is underway.
“Reconstruction of the Tasmalum and Avunatari health centres has begun and slowly we will start to see other recovery projects happening,” Mr Ruddley said.
He says the Sanma Provincial Government aims to see all of its 11 area councils with their own offices.
“As we speak, the majority of the area councils in Sanma have their own offices and area administrators and secretaries are providing services to the people from them,” he said.
“Hopefully before the end of this year, we should have set up offices in the remaining three area councils of West Malo, the Northwest and Big Bay Inland,” he said.