The National – Friday, July 1, 2011
LATELY, there are many negative and unflattering comments about Goroka town.
As a proud son of Goroka living outside my province, I go back occasionally.
Each time I go home, I see things go from bad to worse.
Some of the things I notice are:
* Too many immigrants squatting in settlements and villages. Previously, we had established settlements such as Genoka, Pis Wara, Banana Block. Now, all local villages such as Kama, Faniufa, Asariufa, Komiufa and Okiufa are turning into settlements as villagers are allowing immigrants to come and build houses and they collect land rents. This allows thugs, outcasts, etc, from other parts of the country to come, hassle and rob the innocent people, causing law and order problems to rise. The challenge now is to get rid of all illegal immigrants;
* Old infrastructure are under threat due to non-maintenance. The buildings and roads were built more than 30 years ago and they are falling apart. This has made the town look more like an outpost station. If nothing is done to upgrade and renovate them, Goroka town will one day become a ghost town;
* In the past, Goroka people were one of the friendliest and peace-loving in PNG. But with poor influences from outside, the people’s behaviour and attitude have changed overnight. They have no value for one’s life and property. People drink, fight, create nuisance in public, harass, rob, threaten and kill each other. They have lost respect for others and themselves; and
* There is hardly any political leadership and administration. Where are the leaders? No one seems to be around to take charge. Where the wicked rule, people suffer and this is what is happening. If these leaders are incapable of taking control, it is better for them to step down.
I wonder what the future holds for Goroka and whether our children can call the town home.
I call on politicians, administrators, LLG presidents, councillors and the people to work together before Goroka collapses.