NEGLIGENCE on the part of the Government has forced the Sembiregi people in the Kagua-Erave district, Southern Highlands province, to turn to illegal activities to earn income, which has caused a build-up of high powered guns in the area.
Many people have begun to grow marijuana to earn money or for exchange for high powered guns.
Provincial police commander Supt Jimmy Onopia said there was no road access into the area from Erave.
The only means of transport was by plane, but now the Sembiregi airstrip is closed.
Supt Onopia said because of this, goods and services were not reaching the people in the area.
He said that people grow vegetables, coffee and other cash crops to sell but due to lack of road access, they cannot transport their produce to the market.
Supt Onopia said the drug trade is flourishing in the area because there are no Government agencies on the ground to stop the on-going illegal activities.
He said that two mobile squads from Mendi and Kerowagi were sent into the area early this month to stop the tribal fight between the Imaua and Lualipu tribes, but they found themselves outnumbered by the locals who roamed around with high powered guns.
However, he said, his policemen managed to stop the fight.
Supt Onopia said that tomorrow a representative from ExxonMobil and Oil Search will travel to the area to witness the peace signing agreement between the two former warring tribes.
He said only two people from the warring tribes were killed in the fight.