Hagen forum hears about problems in rural areas

National, Normal

The National – Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A CHILD died after being bitten by a snake in a remote part of Western and poor road conditions did not allow the child to be transported to the nearest health centre, Independence Fellowship Scheme (IFS) director Micah Vele said on Sunday.
“This is just one of the problems experienced by people living in rural areas of the country,” he said.
Vele said rural people continued to suffer the most from the deteriorating state of roads and lack of other services.
Discussing how to create employment and opportunities during the Consultative Implementation Monitoring Council highlands development forum at the Highlander Hotel in Mt Hagen last Friday, he said the government had to address it.
Vele said unemployment was a factor that was affecting people in rural areas and urban centres.
He suggested the government review labour laws, revisit the Employment Act and promote overseas employment such as seasonal fruit picking, among others.
He said the government should look at funding major projects that would create greater income earning opportunities for youths like setting up a sugar and rice factories, cattle, sheep and fish farming, textile training, encourage tourism and setting up guest houses.
He said there had to be mechanisms in place to cater for school leavers and unemployed youths such as funding and encouraging the informal sector.
The IFS was the brain child of Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare in 1978.
The IFS awards scholarships annually and provides skills training and seed capital to the graduates to help them carry out business activities in their communities.
Applications are available at provincial labour department offices.