The National, Wednesday 10th April, 2013
By JAYNE SAFIHAO
A SCHOOL in the Usino-Bundi district in Madang is to be closed because a nearby bridge used by students is too dangerous to cross.
Max David, founder of the Brahman Secondary School, one of the largest in the district catering for more than 3,000 students since its inception in 1979, said they had no option but to send students home.
He said the partly overturned Usema Bridge was “becoming too dangerous for students”.
“We have no choice but to close the school and send students home,” he said.
“We can’t wait. In a few days, the bridge will be under water.
“The Pukpuk Bridge faced the same and was completely washed out. This has been our only lifeline.”
David highlighted the inability of the provincial and district works departments to carry out repairs because of a lack of funds.
The delay in the release of district services improvement programme funds to Usino-Bundi electorate has been blamed for the poor standards of infrastructure.
District works manager Steven Biko confirmed receiving cost estimates sent to the district administrator Jimmy Uguro.
But he said the ORD was yet to release the DSIP funds for districts to have the Maria and Usema bridges fixed at the cost of K647,000.
It is understood the estimates were sent to Uguro’s office well before the part collapse of the Usema Bridge.
The provincial treasury office has confirmed receiving K12 million of DSIP funds with K2million to be given to each of the six districts.
Biko is also questioning why the promised emergency funding for the Surinam bridge was taking too long to be released from Waigani.