The National, Thursday July 25th, 2013
By ZACHERY PER
THE people of the hinterlands of Aitape-Lumi in West Sepik have been cut off from Aitape town since the collapse of Yolbu River Bridge.
Lumi local Tony Wanembi said it had resulted in the collapse of services in the district, especially on transport infrastructure.
He said since the collapse of Yolbu Bridge, the people could not reach Aitape to access basic needs and services.
“I have seen that basic services have gone from bad to worse, depriving the people of their right to access basic services,” he said.
“Successive political and administrative leaders have been turning a blind eye to the people’s needs.”
He said some locals had drowned while trying to cross the river. Public servants and locals get sick when they had to spend nights in the jungles of the Torcelli mountains on their journeys to the coastal town.
“The Yolbu River Bridge is a vital link from Lumi to Nuku and Aitape, West Sepik and Wewak town of East Sepik,” he said.
“There is an acute need for immediate maintenance and upgrading of the road, which has been left neglected ever since.
“The only road access is through Nuku district on the Mai-Tadji road. But that is very difficult. Lumi people and public servants have to walk through the Torecelli mountain range down to Aitape to do their business spending two days in the bush.”
Wanembi is a member of the Kerowagi police mobile squad 08 who has just returned from his leave in the district.