Address issues with rural-to-urban drift


WHILE this might seem as stating the obvious, many pundits allude to the rise in population in the urban setting as an outcome of the unequal or congested development initiatives aimed only at these areas.
As a resident of Moresby-North East, I have observed that every month, new settlers come into the city to bunk with their already-crowded families looking for opportunities.
Settlements are highly populated.
Most of them are unregulated with no government services within their reach.
The delay of the national census to 2024 will only add to the issue in Port Moresby as our population continues to spiral out of control heading into the next election.
People would flock to the city looking for free handouts in the coming election and that is to vote to feed their stomach, knowing that there are no systems in place to track their residence history.
These people remain in the city after the elections seeking assistance from their MP, which never eventuates, creating unnecessary pressure on the State again for repatriation.
This is a warning to Port Moresby residents that a hike in population is expected due to our weak governing agencies to track people’s movement.
This might seem as a provincial issue, but it should be treated as a national issue because the increase in population, correlating with the limited access to basic goods and services due to limited opportunities, will give rise to further social issues leading into the next decade.
This is evident in all our provinces when there is a spike in the number of new and unauthorised residents. While the urban ares may be the hub of the international community and government businesses, we cannot neglect the call for inclusive development.
This is a serious issue of national importance and the relevant stakeholders should engage in an emergency discussion to deal with it.
Giving provinces autonomy or decentralisation powers is not enough, the people are entitled to have freedom of movement.
But there comes a time when that freedom has to be necessitated by law so that our space for further growth is not impeded.
In this day and age, with technology at our grasp, governing agencies who rely on manual record keeping should be made redundant and their job descriptions outsourced to the private sector for efficiency.
The Government needs to deal with our dangerous rural-to-urban population expansion swiftly before the issue further widens our already problematic class system in our cities.

Concerned Citizen