Bad roads driving workers away

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday, May 18, 2011

BAD road conditions in Jimi district of Western Highlands is preventing public servants from taking up jobs in the area, a teacher says.
That has resulted in a shortage of staff in health centres, schools, district administration and police.
The few public servants at Kol, which is the district headquarters, said the district office had no staff.
They said district offices had been left vacant and were forced to close early because teachers were absent.
They said people were suffering at the health centre, which was hit by the staff shortage, deteriorating facilities, and lack of money to airlift patients for better treatment at the Mt Hagen General Hospital.
They said law and order was breaking down because the district police station had no staff, while the rural lock-up was rundown.
A senior teacher at Kol Primary School said all these problems were the result of worsening road conditions.
The teacher said the area was mostly accessible by air because the road had deteriorated badly over the years and was impassable by vehicles.
The teacher said it was disheartening to see Jimi High School students and teachers walk many kilometres carrying their rice and food rations back to school because the roads were not passable for the school vehicle.
Teachers and Kol health centre staff who travelled 45km to Mt Hagen to do their shopping were often left stranded during rainy periods.
The teacher called on local MP Wake Goi and the district and provincial administration to adequately fund road, education, and health projects as peoples’ lives were being affected.
The teacher said the few committed public servants who were based in the area faced great hardship to provide much needed government services to the people.