Goilala – so close yet so far away

Letters, Normal

Reading the article about teachers and health workers headed out to their various posts throughout Goilala district or teachers stranded in Port Moresby while students in remote community schools become the victim of the situation has prompted me to express my view.
Just two months ago, the Deputy PM went to Tapini to open the so-called Goilala Highway.
This stretch of land that the highway runs through is scattered with villages 20km away from each other.
This means it is not as densely populated as other parts of Goilala.
The main bulk (70%) of the Goilala population (Fuyuges) lives at the Auga Dirava and Veitapu (lower and upper Veitapu) rivers.
Cutting across the Owen Stanley ranges is the other Fuyuge-speaking Chirimes who make up a third of the population while the Tauade-speaking people live along the Aiwara River stretching down to Tapini station where the highway ends.
This highway serves only a selected few.
Most of the airstrips in Goilala district are overgrown and covered with thick bushes with animals, both wild and domesticated, grazing on the airstrips.
Maintenance costs on aircraft are high.
Hence, APNG has the liberty to suspend flights to Goilala, not forgetting the potential dangers that exist while landing and/or taking off from these rundown airstrips.
MP Mathew Poia does not fly to Goilala using APNG planes.
He uses helicopters to fly in and out of Goilala.
As such, the Member does not really know the status of the airstrips.
So what he does is to provide a band-aid solution of subsidising the airfares.
Please, Mr Poia, use the DSIP funds to maintain and upgrade all the airstrips along the Auga Dirava (Fane), Udaba (Woitape), Veitapu (Ononge), Aiwara (Sopu and Kerau) and Chirime (Yongai) rivers because air transportation is the only means of going into and out of these places.
Please come back home and see for yourself the situation as you have not been home since June 2007.


Nim Bosi