By PISAI GUMAR
THE flow of traffic on the Bulolo-Menyamya highway in Morobe was cut off by a landslip at Apayata cliff in the Watut area on Tuesday.
Since yesterday morning, passengers were being dropped off at either side of the landslip to negotiate the muddy and slippery crossing with cargo and children to waiting vehicles.
The cost of travel increased overnight as a result.
Other sections of the road including that going through the pine forest from Bulolo to Sosaiti were badly affected by the wet weather.
It was reported that various other landslips in the area destroyed coffee trees and food gardens.
The head teacher of Poyu Primary School in Aseki, Sismai Tilim said the Apayata section was an ongoing risk to commuters during the wet season.
“Why cannot responsible authorities from Bulolo and Menyamya plan and construct a new bypass because Apayata road is very risky as many vehicles, lives and properties were lost over the years,” Tilim said.
Tilim and his family struggled through the slippery cliff on Wednesday morning to get to Lae from Aseki.
“Deteriorated road conditions along the Bulolo-Menyamya highway leave a lot for public servants especially teachers and health workers in pain every year.
“It delays us to purchase and deliver materials to schools on time. It leaves us stranded and we fork out additional K300-K400 from our pockets to survive along the roadsides,” Tilim said.
“Such situations costs teachers K4,000-K5,000 to pay local youths to help carry materials to the other side as well hire other vehicles to get to schools.”
Tilim appealed to MPs Sam Basil (Bulolo) and Benjamin Philip (Menyamya) to collaborate and fix the road.
Meanwhile, Sai business group chairman Menos Achris said that the Bulolo and Menyamya roads have significant economic value yet the Government kept neglecting to improve the two national highways.
“Many lives were lost, vehicles and cargoes worth thousands of kina were damaged along the worsened road conditions. When can government relieve the people’s pain and suffering?”
“This is an ongoing issue that needs to be addressed,” he said.
Achris who owns two vehicles lost one last week at Okinaiwa. Several passengers were injured and he had to spend K14,000 to help them.
By PISAI GUMAR