HONIARA – Work on the Community Benefit Sharing Project (CBSP) water supply systems for various communities in the Tina River Hydropower catchment area is nearing completion with another local contractor, FeliceBerrigan (FB) Quantity Surveyors engaged to complete the plumbing and construction activities.
Section 6 of the Tina River Hydropower Development Project (TRHDP) implementation agreement states, where possible that the Project is to engage local contractors, including within the CBSP programs. This stipulation is in place to help ensure local companies like FB Quantity Surveyors also benefit from the development of the Hydropower Project with more work opportunities which will in turn, help boost the local economy and provide much needed jobs and work experience to local contractors.
FB Quantity Surveyors has a well trained and experienced team on hand who are responsible for the construction of water supply facilities for four completed boreholes in the Tina Hydro project catchment area. These boreholes are in Tina Village, Horohotu 2 (Verabariki), Aretakiki, and Bubukolova which will supply fresh water to seven communities and nearby schools.
The company is managed by Mr Bennett Pitakia, a qualified and experienced Quantity Surveyor and Project Manager with a background in the infrastructure industry spanning over 15 years in Solomon Islands. He graduated with tertiary qualifications from universities in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Australia and has since held senior management positions with experience working with major new building projects and refurbishment works in reputable locally based organisations.
Working with the CBSP, Mr Pitakia said “We are delighted to be selected as one of local contractors to work on the water supply systems which will serve the communities of the Tina River Hydropower catchment area. Our work involves the installation of pipes, standpipes, tanks, and other equipment needed to extract and distribute the water from the boreholes to the communities.”
He goes on to explain they are committed to delivering the water supply systems to a high standard.
“It’s important to ensure that the work we do is carried out to high standards and that the water systems are constructed and maintained properly to ensure the long-term sustainability of the water supply. This also requires cooperation between our company, the communities, and other stakeholders involved in the project,” Mr Pitakia added.
CBSP Coordinator, Francis Kapini also praised the local company. “We started engaging with FB Quantity Surveyors in September 2022 and the outputs of the work that they produce truly reflects a high standard of professionalism.
“They always work diligently and keep us informed when any issues arise. They have always been very good at completing their work within the required construction time frames with committed employees who can easily adapt when working in our communities,” Mr Kapini added.
Mr Pitakia emphasised that community members have been very welcoming and helpful, lending a hand and assisting his boys whenever they do their job.
“It is good to see the eagerness of the community members to have fresh water connected near their homes. Because of this, community members, from children to adults assist us whenever they can,” he said.
Alphonse Bua, a Grade Four student at Aretakiki Adventist Primary said he can’t wait to fetch water near his house when the Water Supply system is turned on. “I normally travelled to fetch water with my wheelbarrow some metres away from home. With the full installation of the water supply system here, I will no longer travel far to collect clean water for drinking and cooking using my wheelbarrow,” the young lad said.
The FB Quantity Surveyors construction company are on track to finish work on the Bubukolova water supply system, as well as minor fencing jobs at Tina, Horohotu 2 (Verabariki), and Rate Community High School by end of May 2023.