By JAMES GUMUNO
Mother of three and grandmother sworn in as councillor for ward 4 in Hagen Urban local level government, says she wants to fight for women’s rights in her community and is keen to face the challenge of serving her people.
Cr Elizabeth Delpa, 58, originally from Wurup-Kaip in the Anglimp-South Waghi district of neighbouring Jiwaka, was sworn-in on Wednesday at Kimininga Police Barracks by District Court Magistrate Donald Joseph along with eight other councillors.
Delpa beat 12 other male candidates to retain her seat.
Delpa’s late husband was from the Jika-Milikamb tribe and they lived at Hagen Tech in the Hagen Central electorate of Western Highlands.
She has three sons, her eldest is married and has three children while her second son is a seventh grader at Muglamp Primary School and the third is in elementary school.
Delpa said she was educated up to grade eight in the 1970s at Anglimp High School.
She said she worked with Renbo Supermarket for some years and left her boys back with her husband at Hagen Tech, just outside Hagen.
She said she had never held a leadership position in a women’s group in the church or community but was happy be given a chance to be a ward councillor.
“I put my hand up to become a councillor in the last LLG election in 2013 and my people didn’t let me down and elected me as their ward councillor,” Delpa said.
She said unfortunately Hagen Urban local level government council was among the five in the province that were declared as failed election due to illegal practices. Delpa said she did not gave up hope of serving more than 3,000 people in her ward area.
She said her husband died three weeks after the council election in 2013.
Delpa said over the last six years she had seen the needs of her community and was keen to working with her LLG president to address the issues.
“Our road from Kerebug junction to Hagen Tech, about a kilometre long is unsealed and I will write to the Works department and ask them to fix it to allow the safe use of the road,” she said.
“I am glad that this election was conducted peacefully and now we (councillors) have been sworn in as duly elected councillors and I will now focus on some of the aims I want to achieve for my people.”
The councillor said her first task was to address women’s issues like violence against women and young girls, looking at ways to assist them as well as building a water supply system and connecting electricity to the communities.
Delpa said she would be satisfied when she made a little difference in her ward area.
“When my people are happy, I will be happy; some projects I planned to carry out cost big money but, I will try my best to find that money and deliver,” she said.
Delpa said that as a house wife, she would balance her time with her electors, children and grandchildren.
“I know that I have a big responsibility to play and it’s very challenging but I want to face the challenge and show my male counterparts that women are capable handling the challenges and serving the people too,” she said.
“It’s worth giving a try than doing nothing.”
By JAMES GUMUNO