BY JEFFREY ELAPA
A FAMILY from Rigo in Central is mourning the death of a young man who was washed away in a flood.
Beetson Boio, a grade 10 student at Waigani Christian College, drowned on Saturday as the family was returning from their weekend at their Gobu Komana village.
Boio would have turned 18 next month.
He was the last of five children.
Father Robert Boio, who is the first secretary to Kerema MP Richard Mendani, said his son would not have been washed away and drowned if engineers had considered rainfall and flooding in the area.
He said a cement bridge over the river, a few metres before the main Kemp Welch Bridge was not suitable for flooding.
However, Works Secretary David Wereh said flooding was unpredictable, as it was an impact of weather.
“It is not an engineering issue,” he said.
“It is a climate change issue that is threatening lives, economies and infrastructure everywhere in the world.
“What used to occur rarely is now occurring frequently.”
Boio said during rainy seasons, the river flooded and was forced to go around the bridge and flood the entire road, something that never happened until the bridge was built.
He said in this current rainy season, the river flooded over the road, stopping all commuters from crossing.
Boio said as they stopped to check the road at 5pm on Saturday, his son came out to check the level of flooding, and was swept away.
Beetson Boio’s body was found the next day.
Boio questioned the engineering design and if Works’ engineers certified the bridge before use.
He said he was asking the Department of Works if there was negligence on it’s part in approving design of the bridge and if they had certified it for use.
BY JEFFREY ELAPA