The National, Thursday October 31st, 2013
By JEFFREY ELAPA
THE construction of the Gobe-Sembirigi portion of highway linking Southern Highlands to Gulf took 14 years to complete, a company executive says.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill opened the road on Sept 20.
Civil Contractors Pacific Ltd general manager Dixie Karince Pombe said work on the 54km portion from Gobe to Sembirigi began 1999 and took the company 14 years to complete.
He said the Gobe landowners had demanded that a road be built if oil was to be extracted from their land.
He said road construction was done through some of the most dangerous and rugged terrain at a cost of less than K2 million per kilomere.
He said a realistic cost would be more than K4 million per kilometre.
“I do not think foreign companies would have endured the hardship and sacrifices Civil Contractors Pacific and its management made,” he said.
“They would never construct roads in remote locations when the risks are not adequately mitigated and handsomely remunerated where people continue to harass, demand compensation and issue threats.
“It’s our small local companies who are the real front liners of development.
“These small companies continue to face challenges from our own people and continue to be intimidated when trying to successfully deliver small but vital projects in logistically impossible locations for our people.”