THE PNG Defence Force engineering battalion has pledged to provide basic community improvement incentives to the villages along the proposed transnational highway between Western Highlands and Madang provinces.
Officers from Igam barracks told more than 200 people gathered at Simanga village, 15km northeast of Baiyer LLG station, they would help cut timber and maintain rundown Government and church agencies and improve safe drinking and cooking water resources.
The soldiers, including Commanding Officer Maj Quadrat Larawin, Capt Bruno Malau and Capt Adam Tull discovered, during their feasibility studies for the proposed transnational highway, people in 13 council wards between Baiyer and Simanga, 15 wards between Simanga and Jimi River and 25 from Birip and Lenginas in Enga province had to walk for days to receive health services from the Iki aide post.
Iki is manned by orderly Mark Kapati who serves more than 30,000 people spread between the Schrader and Bismarck ranges.
Mr Kapati said continuous tribal clashes had prevented most of the people to walk a further 20 km to Tinseley heath centre which is run by the Baptist church.
Pregnant women and children were most affected. Most die during the walk to either to Iki aide post or Tinseley, he said.