Skip to main content

Wau and Sepik Highways

Wau and Sepik Highways


Type: Transport
Country: Papua New Guinea

This investment will support the Papua New Guinea’s Department of Works and Highways to undertake long-term rehabilitation and maintenance of approximately 359 kms of roads along the Wau Highway in Morobe Province and Sepik Highway in East Sepik and West Sepik (Sandaun) provinces from 2022 to 2027. The investment will include project management, contract oversight and support with implementation.

The investment will also contribute to designs for the proposed Trans-National Highway.

The investment is aligned with the PNG Government’s National Road Network Strategy and Connect PNG 2020-2040 policy.

AIFFP contribution

AUD76.3 million

  Amount (AUD million) Amount (USD million) Variable interest rate Tenor
Loan $61.6 $43.1 LIBOR + 0.8% 23 years
Grant  $14.7 n/a n/a n/a

*Exchange rate: AUD/0.70USD

Delivery partners

Project partners
Papua New Guinea Department of Works

Sovereign partners
Government of Papua New Guinea


Investment in the Wau and Sepik Highways will improve transport connectivity to domestic and export markets for remote rural agricultural communities, which is estimated to contribute approximately 10 per cent of total export earnings. Along the Sepik Highway, the improved connectivity will benefit small-scale producers of fresh food, cocoa, fish, rubber and the burgeoning vanilla industry. Whilst along the Wau Highway, the investment will benefit communities producing fresh food, fish and coconuts, along with the mining, forestry, cattle and large-scale poultry industries.

The investment will increase employment opportunities through the construction and maintenance phases. The long-term maintenance contracts on Wau and Sepik Highways are expected to generate at least 600 jobs annually, 80 per cent of which are semi-skilled or unskilled labour, which would target employing people in the local area.

The investment will focus on increased access for women to jobs by implementing a Gender Action Plan. The plan will target a minimum 20 per cent female participating in employment opportunities and support gender awareness on women’s right to equal employment opportunities.

Improved road connectivity will provide better access for remote communities to essential services, such as health and education, particular for women and children. The design will take account of the different needs of road users. For example, narrow bridges tend to present an acute safety risk for slow-moving pedestrians, such as pedestrians loaded with heavy or bulky, market items. Poorly designed roads can mean children may face longer travel times in order to get to school, or find themselves completely cut off when it rains.

Improved road safety will be a focus through a road safety campaign, particularly for women and children who travel to markets, schools and health facilities. This campaign will raise awareness of traffic safety, road rules, use of road crossings, understanding of safety signs and awareness of the importance not to damage road infrastructure and signs.