Majuro— Significant planning is already underway to improve the safety, efficiency and climate resilience of the Republic of the Marshall Island’s maritime operations.
President Dr Hilda Heine said Tuesday the upgrade would be funded under the RMI’s US$33 million Maritime Investment Project, to be officially launched on Nov. 12.
She said $12.35 million would be invested into maritime infrastructure, another US$7.65 million into maritime safety and security, with US$13.12 million allocated for technical assistance for port planning and project management.
“This project will include the upgrade or repair of quays and other structures, and improved safety and port operations at Delap, Uliga, Ebeye, and outer island docks to strengthen maritime transport across the Marshall Islands,” Heine said.
“It will also improve the reliability of connections between the capital Majuro, and outer island communities who need to access education, markets and health services.
“The project will also help build resilience to climate change, which is a significant threat to maritime operations, with sea-level rise accelerating the rate of coastal erosion and the deterioration of key port infrastructure.”
The project, funded through the International Development Association, the World Bank’s fund for the world’s most in-need countries, is being implemented by the RMI Ports Authority, Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, and the National Disaster Management Office.
Brenson Wase, minister for Finance, Banking and Postal Services said work on the project began in May and was expected to continue until August 2024.
He said the expected outcomes included:
Enhanced port operations and efficiency
Enhanced connectivity through improved climate resilience of maritime infrastructure
Improved climate resilience of maritime infrastructure
Improved oversight and safety of port operations
Improved capacity for oversight, planning and management of the maritime sector, and
Improved emergency response
“Work is underway to recruit a project manager and strategic planning has started into the safety and security needs of our maritime infrastructure,” Wase said.
“We are looking to set up a centralized implementation unit housed in the Division of International Development Assistance, which will be a shared resource with the World Bank.
“The Maritime Investment Project will improve our country’s resilience to natural disasters and climate change, and will strengthen communities’ access to food, water, fuel and emergency response services,” he said.