The Pacific Climate Resilient Transport Program (PCRTP) is funded by the World Bank (WB), partner governments and other donor agencies. It has four broad pillars that focus on increasing resilience of the transport sector through: (i) utilising spatial planning and risk-based tools; (ii) investing in climate resilient infrastructure; (iii) strengthening the enabling environment; and, (iv) supporting post-disaster recovery. The Government of Vanuatu (GoV) and the World Bank are preparing a project to design and construct a climate and disaster resilient South Santo Road and support the Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utility (MIPU) Public Works Department (PWD) to establish a modernized resilient transport asset management system for the effective management of the entire transport network in the country and as such the Vanuatu Climate Resilient Transport Project (VCRTP) has been established as part of the PCRTP Series of Projects (SOP).
The 2,048-km road network in Vanuatu is made up of 261 km (13 percent) sealed, 764 km (37 percent) gravel, and 1,023 km (50 percent) earth roads. Over 43 percent of the road network (including almost all the sealed roads) are located in Sanma province (on Santo island) and Shefa province (on Efate island), which are Vanuatu’s two largest provinces. In Sanma, there is a total of 524 km of roads, of which 124 km (24 percent) are sealed, 298 km (57 percent) are gravel, and 102 km (19 percent) are earth roads.
For the proposed project, GoV has given priority to Santo, specifically 60km of the South Santo Road between Luganville and Tasiriki due to the important role it plays in linking east to west. It also serves transit traffic between its northwest via Tasiriki and Luganville, which functions as a gateway for the northern part of the country. Santo accounts for 20 percent of the national population and 26 percent of the country’s road network, but only 24 percent of Sanma’s roads are sealed compared to 37 percent for Shefa. Road infrastructure is inadequately maintained, and in need of both rehabilitation and more routine maintenance. Poor road conditions are driving up transport costs, hindering access to services and markets, and restricting economic growth in rural areas.
The Project will (i) construct five water-crossings to address connectivity issues along the South Santo Road; (ii) coastal protection works to protect the road; and, (iii) upgrading of gravel to paved road along the corridor for as many kilometers as the project is able to fund after activities (i) and (ii) are costed. The Project will not create new roads however it will shift the alignment of 3 river crossings by a maximum of several hundred meters. It will not widen existing roadways, only the existing declared network will be subject to the improvement and maintenance program. Without the Project, the coming years will see further degradation of the South Santo Road and further reduce the connectivity for the islands population.
The objective of this Consultancy is to support the Implementing Agency (MIPU) to achieve the project objectives through:
a. Site visits and consultation with affected communities
b. Identification of environmental impacts from the proposed project including the possible future impacts of climate change
c. Recommendation of appropriate measures for mitigation and monitoring the identified impacts.