New project will ensure local communities see lasting benefits from upcoming hydropower facility
WASHINGTON, September 26, 2023— The World Bank’s Board of Directors has approved a new project that will ensure the delivery of resources and improve access to services for thousands Solomon Islanders in and around the upcoming Tina River Hydropower project site.
The Second Phase of the Community Benefit Sharing Project, a US$5m grant, will work alongside the World Bank-supported Tina River Hydropower Development Project and will deliver improved roads, rural water supply, and electricity connections for 5,000 people. The project, which will be implemented by the Solomon Islands Government, will ensure there is an effective and sustainable way to distribute revenue from the operation of the hydropower facility directly into communities in and around the Tina River project site.
Building on work delivered through the Community Benefit Sharing Pilot (financed by a grant from the Japan Social Development Fund), the new project will transition a community fund for local people into an independent organization.
To make sure communities can build on returns from the Tina River facility, the benefit sharing project will also invest in essential skills for 800 people through literacy and numeracy programs. This will enable beneficiaries, particularly women, to take full advantage of the Community Benefit Sharing Fund while increasing incomes and earnings potential through small businesses and new opportunities.
“This new community benefit sharing support will complement the Tina River Hydropower Development Project - prioritizing the close consultation of land holders, so lasting benefits are secured for these neighboring communities,” said Annette Leith, the World Bank’s Country Representative in Solomon Islands.
The earlier Community Benefit Sharing Pilot ran from 2018 to 2023 and delivered important improvements for communities around Tina River. The follow-on project announced today will continue to address the communities' service and infrastructure needs while the benefit sharing fund will see positive impacts for around 7,000 people.
“As the Tina River Hydropower Project moves ahead, it is essential that no people or communities are left behind,” said Dr. Chris Vehe, Permanent Secretary of the Solomon Islands Ministry of Mines, Energy, and Rural Electrification. “That's why this project will not only invest in access to services now, but will also create a well-functioning fund that makes sure resources are shared transparently and effectively. We are pleased that this Benefit Sharing Project also contributes to the second objective of the Solomon Islands’ National Development Strategy to alleviate poverty, meet basic needs, and ensure the benefits of development are fairly distributed,”