Labour intensive employment

ILO is set to rehabilitate roads in the Greater Sepik Region in Papua New Guinea under the EU-Funded UN Joint STREIT PNG Programme

ILO through the EU-STREIT PNG Programme creates employment opportunities for rural populations in the Sepik region by applying employment-intensive work methods in road maintenance works to improve the access of farming communities to markets.

News | 04 July 2022
Wewak, Papua New Guinea
Wewak, Papua New Guinea- To create an enabling environment including farm-to-market roads to support cocoa, vanilla and fisheries farmers in the Greater Sepik Region, the ILO under EU Funded UN Joint STREIT PNG Programme, has recently engaged three local contractors to commence rehabilitation and specific maintenance of four farm-to-market access roads totalling 52.1 km in the Sepik Region of Papua New Guinea.

The ILO signed the contracts with three local firms last week. The contracted firms are Hiawani Limited for the rehabilitation of 7.8 km Banak-Wautogik road in Wewak District, Midway Pacific Ltd for the Specific Maintenance of 12.8 km Balif-Araseli road in Maprik District, and Kaystar Construction Ltd for two (2) roads; Rehabilitation of a 6.5 km Munji-Haripmo road in Yangoru-Saussia District, and Specific Maintenance of 25 km Pasi-Krisa road in Vanimo-Green District, Sandaun Province. These roads were selected based on high production of vanilla, cocoa and fisheries in the areas that are supported under the EU-STREIT PNG Programme.

The contract duration of these specific lots and packages are 12 months and the contractors have been given two weeks to mobilise their resources including machineries to commence road works by 15 July 2022. The ILO Engineer will conduct regular supervision, monitoring and monthly meetings to discuss work progress, challenges and way forward. “We will not only monitor, we will be satisfied to support you by providing technical training to the key personnel of the contractors for continuous capacity development and quality assurance of sub-projects,” explained Mr Shailendra Kumar Jha, ILO’s Infrastructure Specialist/Chief Technical Advisor under the EU-STREIT PNG.

“Given the delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which has put a strain on the progress, I’m pleased to announce that this is a milestone achievement for the road transport infrastructure component to ensure we assist the government in its efforts to bring markets closer to the unreached in our focus areas,” said Dr Xuebing Sun, EU-STREIT PNG Programme Coordinator.

The contractors were selected through the competitive bidding process using e-portal of United Nation Global Market Place (UNGM) to ensure principle of sustainable procurement of ILO. This is a totally new practice in the case of PNG where local contractors were trained on e-bidding and successfully submitted their bids using UNGM and ILO electronic Tendering System (eTS).

As part of EU-STREIT PNG’s mandate to support capacity development, all contractors including their personnel will undergo training in technical areas like contract management and administration, Supervision, Quality Assurance and Quality Control, Material Testing and Laboratory Practice, environmental and social safeguards, occupational safety and health at construction site, and modern survey techniques using GIS (geographic information system) and Total Station. This is to ensure delivery of quality road transport works for EU-STREIT Programme in the Sepik Region while also fulfil PNG government’s requirement to develop professional contractors in the country.

The contractors were excited and looking forward to complete sub-projects within allocated time frame of 12 months. Mr David Bannah of Midway Pacific Ltd said: “We’re very fortunate because we’re learning a lot of new things here, especially the UN ILO procurement process through e-bidding. As a local contractor I’m so proud to be associated with the Programme.” Mr Pious Hiawani of Hiawani Ltd added: “We know the ILO team will help us to become better contractors and many rural people will benefit here so I like to thank European Union (EU)-the donor agency and ILO under the STREIT Programme.”

Under road transport infrastructure component led by ILO, 15 rural roads in the Sepik totalling 264kms in length will be rehabilitated to support the market access initiative implemented by the EU-STREIT PNG for rural farming communities to boost agriculture production and agribusiness activities pertaining to the three targeted value chains for an improved income and cash flow for the rural sector. The roads will also support other agricultural, business, social and community activities and facilities like schools, aid posts and health centres that are in dire need of better accessible roads.

The EU-STREIT PNG, as a UN Joint Programme (FAO as leading agency, and ILO, ITU, UNCDF and UNDP as partners), is the largest grant-funded Programme of the European Union in the country and the Pacific region. Being implemented in close cooperation with the National and provincial government institutions, research entities, civil society organizations, and private sector enterprises, the Programme aims to help improve the lives of the people from East Sepik and Sandaun provinces, by focusing on increasing sustainable and inclusive economic development of rural areas through improved economic returns and opportunities from cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains while strengthening and improving the efficiency of value chain enablers, including the business environment, and supporting sustainable, climate-proof transport and energy infrastructure development.

Media Contact:
Amir Khaleghiyan,
International Reporting and Communication Officer, the FAO-led EU-STREIT PNG Programme,