The National – Wednesday, December 8, 2010
By YVONNE HAIP
AFTER waiting for more than 20 years to receive much needed government services, the people of Tengtenga village in Mt Hagen have taken the lead by initiating development themselves.
Last Saturday, the whole community was busy gathering rocks from the nearby Walter River to be used for gravel filling on a 3km feeder road that the Kentka people had constructed using spades and bush knives.
The road would benefit more than 5,000 people and village leaders, students, women, men, youths, and children all part took in the activity because they believe that better roads would allow for development to be felt at the community level.
They have also built a bridge, elementary classrooms, and an additional building for the Tengtenga sub-health centre to cater for the increasing number of patients.
Through the combined efforts of the local community, traditional assets such as coffee trees were uprooted and land was freed up to make way for development at a total cost of over K40,000.
This is also in line with the government’s development goals where people should take ownership of developmental changes through practising self reliance.
Community leader Wani Atep expressed concern that even though the village was situated near Mt Hagen, basic services had not reached the area while existing ones had never been maintained during the past 20 years.
He said seeing that the people could not wait for the government to deliver at their doorsteps, they had
gone ahead to provide services for themselves.
Not only that, Atep added that they would continue to initiate other developments in their area.
Youths from the area challenged other communities to do the same and become agents of change in order to benefit from much needed government services.