2 Dec 2009

ADB grant creates Solomon Islands roading jobs

1:11 pm on 2 December 2009

The Asian Development Bank says a new multi-million dollar grant to strengthen roads in Solomon Islands is creating jobs in rural communities.

The 24 million dollar package falls under the existing Solomon Islands Road Improvement Project and is a partnership between the Australian government, Asian Development Bank, European Commission, NZAID and AusAID.

The Principal Transport Specialist in the Pacific Department of the ADB, Robert Guild, says there will be hundreds of jobs in rural communities for things such as clearing vegetation, filling potholes and rebuilding drainage.

"We have instituted a programme of community participation in maintenance through labour intensive methods and have been training small contractors and community groups to participate in this way. It's actually quite an interesting story actually because we've seen new small businesses start up in rural areas in Solomon Islands through response to this opportunity."

Robert Guild says about half of the labour is being done by women.