China aid project to revamp Vanua Levu roads

May 24, 2024 3:19 pm

[File Photo]

The remote rural and island communities in Fiji are relatively poor and isolated from economic opportunities and social services.

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka highlighted this in Parliament while delivering his ministerial statement regarding the Vanua Levu Road Upgrade Project.

He notes that rural access roads and jetties are in poor condition.

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Rabuka states that the China Aid Project will improve several roads in Vanua Levu including parts of the Nabouwalu, Makolei Road in Bua,

Natewa West Coast in Cakaudrove and the Nabalebale, Naviavia, and Dawara roads in Cakaudrove.

The project is estimated to cost $300 million and will be the flagship project under China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Fiji.

In the main urban areas, the Prime Minister pointed out that lower-level municipal roads are neglected, rough, and sometimes impassable.

Rabuka emphasized that transport infrastructure and services are key to promoting economic growth and social development. He adds that rural industries, such as sugarcane farming, forestry, and tourism, rely on road access for transporting goods from plantations to processing plants and ports.

This project will also facilitate better access to health facilities for those in the districts of Vaturova, Koroalau, Wailevu, Solevu, Vuya, and Nabouwalu, serving a population of approximately 10,000.

Rabuka adds that the upgrading and sealing of rural roads will also enable better access to banks and financial institutions, boosting the culture of savings and supporting micro and small businesses.