By JEFFREY ELAPA
RURAL Jiwaka has seen significant improvements to some of its deteriorated road and bridge infrastructures in the last couple of months.
Heavy equipment, road work machines and workmen have slowly moved into areas that were not attended to over 20 years or more.
Thanks to Jiwaka Provincial Government under the leadership of Governor Dr William Tongamp, with the support of the National Government through the Department of Works, this vital road upgrading and maintenance programming is slowly improving economic opportunities for the province and people’s lives.
Close to 15km of roads in North and South Waghi areas including the 2km section between Kudjip and Waghi Bridge are being upgraded.
The Department of Works is working on the construction of the new bridge in Bunumwo section of the Kimil-Banz road of North Waghi to replace old one washed away by floods. Funds were also secured to replace the Mobol bridge that was also destroyed by floods last year.
Engineers from the department are on site the Waghi River to do geotetch survey on the proposed new Waghi-Manda Bridge.
Meanwhile, the Minj-Kup road and Banz Jimi highway is earmarked for complete rehabilitation under the National Government’s Asian Development Bank Highland Road Improvement Programme.
The 5.7 km Kudjip-Piltange road in the Kudjip LLG that had remained inaccessible for almost two decades is now completely rehabilitated to all-weather condition.
The road maintenance work started in December 2018 has eased travel difficulties and hardships faced by the Kuma people, community schools, churches at the headwaters of the Kane River.
For years over 5,000 people include children, mothers and civil servants walked 6km to Kudjip to access essential services and return, often in punishing weather.
Many people living next to the main highlands highway joke about people from the headwaters, labelling them
‘white horses’ because they travelled with loads of coffee bags, garden food and little children on their shoulders to and fro.
Today the story is completely different; the bus stops which are normally at Kudjip Lutheran
Church are now shifted back to the Piltange Primary School Bridge and further back because of the improved road condition.
Public motor vehicles, private cars and even sedans cars now drive smoothly to Piltanage and back to Kudjip on to the main highway.
Similarly, the 6.5km Binz-Kamal road linking the Seglap tribe of North Waghi is upgraded from the main road into Kamal coffee plantations and onto the Waghi River.
This road which was used by over 5,000 people was abandoned for over two years and people walked 7km to the main road to catch PMVs to Banz and back.
Sections of the road between Kudjip and Banz, from Kudjip market to Waghi Bridge have been upgraded as well and resealing commenced several weeks ago.
The Departments of Works, at the request of Jiwaka Provincial Government has allocated K 4.2 million on the road work programme.
The provincial government through its transport and infrastructure section is carrying out the roads and bridge upgrade and maintenance programme in the province. After completion of the Kudjip-Piltange road, work will commence on the rehabilitation of the 10km
Aviamp-Kumdi and Rolump road.
This will be followed by other access roads in Anglimp, Avi and Madan in the Anglimp LLG, as well as main trunk roads in Nondugl, Kimil and other areas in the North Waghi.
Governor Tongamp’s aim is to upgrade most of deteriorated access roads in the province.
By JEFFREY ELAPA