THE Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA) and the Alotau Provincial Government have signed a contract this month to upgrade the Alotau provincial Wharf.
CCDA Acting Managing Director Mr William Lakain during the ceremony said after a feasibility study was carried out in 2016, it was revealed that the 53-year-old Alotau Wharf is in a poor state of repair and is vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change especially the rise in sea level and increasingly rise in storm surge.
He said based on assessment, a US$5Million additional funding was sourced for the Building Resilience of Climate Change (BRCC) program through the Strategic Climate Fund-Pilot Program for Climate Resilience. Additional funding was made available by the Australian Government to upgrade the Wharf.
BRCC project is aimed at achieving transformation change in addressing the current and future treats from treats from the climate change and related hazards.
Alotau Provincial Wharf will become a model climate proof marine structure with ‘climate proofing design features’ and to provide insights for development of climate resilient building codes and design standards at the national level as well as social inclusive
“Once this Wharf is given the appropriate facelift, we believe this development will give leverage to increase the resilience of the Milne Bay Community to the impacts of climate change,” Mr Lakain said.
The improved Wharf facilities will serve an estimated 200 registered boat owners in the Province and about 2,500 dinghy or operators.
It is anticipated that this provincial wharf will inclusively accommodate the most vulnerable and those with limited mobility eg, persons with disability, sick, pregnant mothers etc…
It will continue to function as a public loading and unloading facility for small vessels supplying the needs of mostly the low-income earners of the off shore islands, both on a routine basis and at times of emergencies.
Once the wharf is completed, Milne Provincial Government administration will continue to own and operate the wharf to better serve the its people as well as collect fees and levies to sustain the maintenance.
Working will start in a few months’ time.
“I congratulate Pacific Marine for being the successful bidder and we are looking forward to the contract to be completed within the contract period,” said Mr Lakain.
Alotau Provincial Administrator Ashan Numa thanked CCDA and other partners for the upgrading of the wharf. Mr Numa said Alotau is a Maritime province and the upgrading of the wharf would help the people in the province.