Commuters warned not to camp by river

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COMMUTERS on the Bulolo Highway are being warned not to camp on either side of Kumalu River or cross it after 6pm as crime was increasing and the river flooded without warning at this time of the year.
Morobe deputy governor Waka Daimon and Bulolo district administrator Tae Gwambelek said two Asian business owners in Wau and a primary school head teacher from Watut were attacked and robbed last Friday and Wednesday.
Similarly, many passengers become victims of criminals on either side of the river while attempting to cross it.
The river is continuously flooding, sending gravel and mud downstream at this time of the year.
PNG Forest Products and Hidden Valley have engaged two bulldozers and excavators to clear the debris to enable vehicles to pass.
Thugs attacked Mainyanda Primary School head teacher Edwin Aquame with bush knives and stole K5,000 from him last Friday.
Aquame sustained knife wounds to his hands and back.
Aquame told The National at the incident site that the money was to buy prizes for the pupils during graduation on Dec 6.
On the previous Wednesday, two Asian business owners in Wau were attacked and K15,000 stolen from them. Pastor Walter Sigi said the two Asians met him at Kumalu River trying to cross to travel to Lae.
They then asked him to help them by carrying their laptop in a bag containing the money.
“When all of us attempted to cross over, the thugs arrived with guns and held us up, took the bag containing the money and their mobile phones. They fled on foot,” Sigi said.
Daimon arrived a few minutes after Aquame was attacked.
He appealed to the locals to stop the illegal activities.
“This is a public highway and respect should prevail. I urge Mumeng police to uphold State responsibility and never to compromise with locals,” he said.