By JINA AMBA
MOST Papua New Guineans live in rural places in the country and basic services are needed there the most.
The provision of services like reliable roads, schools, health centres, electricity and well-connected markets are critical for any government or administration to claim that they are performing their mandated roles.
Political leaders do deliver services to the people in their respective electorates but mostly people living near t main roads or seaports benefit from those service whilst those living in rural settings miss out.
To change this reality, the district development authority (DDA) of Usino-Bundi in Madang under the leadership of Jimmy Uguro is bring the services to some of the electorate’s people in the rural areas.
Villagers in the electorate have received roofing iron sheets to build permanent houses, says the local MP Jimmy Uguro who is also the Minister for Education.
In line with the Usino-Bundi-Gama rural housing scheme, the district has commenced distributing roofing iron to Ward 2 of Gama LLG.
The DDA is subsidising this rural housing scheme. The electorate has up to 20,000 families who are to receive the roofing. Some have received their share and the distribution is continuing into other communities.
According to the DDA’s intervention programme to build houses for the people, the DDA is supplying 24 sheets of to every family in the district.
Usino-Bundi has three LLGs which are Usino, Bundi and Gama. Usino has 34 wards, Bundi has 22 and Gama has got 14 wards. So as per the plan the DDA is giving each community a sawmill and a chainsaw.
“We are expecting to buy at least 65-70 sawmills, these will be managed by the ward development committees through the council so they assist our parents, our families by producing timber. Each family has to identify their own tree and the sawmill has to process timbers for their houses. The standard family house will be a big one, with three bedrooms and verandah. It is a town lifestyle we are trying to introduce to the rural community. I expect everyone to take part, all the councilors must take part, all our families must take part and no body must play politics on this services as we have not just plan this during this time of the year, we planned it and its part of the five-year development plan,” Uguro says.
The DDA has endorsed this plan and it was approved by the national department of planning in 2017. They will continue to supply Iron roofing until everybody in the entire district gets their share.
“We are ordering the coils coming from China and through the PM’s intervention programme we have subsidised about K5mil to get all the coil materials from China.
“A supplier has been paid to do this job. They will cut those iron roofing, blank sheet has to go through the machine, we have a Kapa factory and machine there at Usino station and our boys are still working there day and night.
“Through the assistance of Mapai Transport, the roofing iron will be transported from the factory at Usino to Banu Bridge which will then be ferried up the Ramu River 10 hours by boats.
“The officers have transported the roofing iron to all the areas in the electorate.
“Families are not allowed to sell or give away the roofing irons to friends or others. For those who found doing that will be dealt with accordingly.
“It is the ward councilor’s job to ensure families do the right thing and encourage them to build permanent homes, he said.
The total cost for the roofing iron is K34,560 and it is distributed to 205 families.
“We are directly changing people’s lives by building necessities so that they can build proper houses,” he said.
He said the DDA has also given sawmills at the cost of K48, 000, Chainsaws at the cost of K15, 000.
He hopes to see changes in his electorate during his term so that no one is left behind.
Uguro’s aim is to bring services to the vast rural population in his electorate. He said he is making sure all the roofing irons are either transported by road or the Ramu River so people can receive their shares.
He said this is not only for roofing irons but for any other Government Services that is being provided under his leadership.
He wants to make sure that no one is left behind in receiving any government services.
In the ongoing roofing iron distribution, villagers from Ono in the Ward 18 of the Usino LLG took delivery of 6,000 sheets, a sawmill and chainsaw last Friday.
According to MP Uguro his visit last week was to continue the roofing iron rollout programme the district has embarked on.
The 6,000 roofing iron sheets will be distributed to 250 households. Each family will be given 24 pieces of 12-foot roofing iron.
This distribution will see families from Mano Bridge to Meraine village receiving their share.
Uguro said the distribution and management of the roofing iron factory and the sawmill would the responsibility of ward development committees.
“With the supply and demand in great need the production sees an increment from 1,500 roofing iron sheets to 1,800 a day , two shifts work tirelessly day and night in making sure roofing iron sheets reach the intended communities,” he said.
“My vision and plan is to see my people have better houses. If my people are happy, I am happy. My plans must translate into tangible outputs,” said Uguro.
Usino LLG president Pewa Aimai aid the roofing iron rollout programme was a concept documented in the LLG’s five- year development plan to make sure people have a better lifestyle through better houses.
Uguro urged the Ward 18 community to embrace and accept challenges as they come to better their lives and way of thinking.
“The roofing iron sheets must not be sold or stolen; if people are found to be doing that, they will be liable for criminal prosecution,” he said.
“People must be agents of change.If we have a changed mindset then we will have a changed country, which is healthy for the country’s growth,” said Uguro