Inadequate infrastructure maintenance has long been recognized as a challenge. The failure to manage and maintain existing infrastructure assets in Pacific island countries has resulted in large infrastructure debt - representing the gap between what has and should have been spent on infrastructure.
The premature deterioration of infrastructure affects lives. It translates into fewer people having access to health clinics; fewer children going to school; deaths from vehicles colliding when negotiating potholed roads; and disease resulting from the contamination of water sources because of blocked drains, untreated sewage, and the exposure of hazardous waste. The lack of preventative maintenance is also costly in a financial sense. It is well known that preventative maintenance provides a better financial return than investment in new infrastructure.