THIS is an open letter to the Government and, more specifically, the Electoral and Boundaries Commission to take note and implement as a matter of high priority before the 2022 national election: Redraw the Kerowagi boundary.
The Kerowagi district shares the same boundaries with the provinces of Jiwaka and Madang and the districts of Chimbu, Kundiawa, Gembogl and Gumine.
The district is populated by the Gena, Siambugla, Waugla, Kombuku, Kamaneku, Siglku, Paglau, Bindeku, Graiku, Dagle, Kumai, Endugla and Bari tribes.
There are four primary reasons that support the rational to redraw the Kerowagi electoral boundary.
Geographically, the Waghi River clearly separates the tribes of Kumai, Endugla and Bari from Kerowagi.
Secondly, the Kumai tribes do not speak Kuman but speak a Jiwaka dialect, more specifically the dialect spoken by people from Minj in South Waghi electorate.
Thirdly, the Endugla and Bari people cannot speak the perfect Kuman dialect, rather they speak a dialect that is neither Kuman nor Jiwaka and their unique dialect can only be better understood by the inhabitants of the Gumine district.
Fourthly, the Kumai, Endugla and Bari people have been notorious since before independence for tribal fighting and the destruction of mission and government properties in the Kup local level government.
Kerowagi district has wasted so much public funds to maintain public infrastructure such as schools, aid posts, and bridges in their area.
They have burnt down schools, aid posts, health centres and removed one of the two bridges across the Waghi River. As a result of tribal fighting and arms build-up, the Kup LLG has remained undeveloped for decades.
There is geographical, linguistic and cultural justification for the Kup LLG to be permanently removed from Kerowagi District.
The Endugla and Bari tribes can become part of Gumine because of their geographical proximity, language and cultural similarities.
Likewise, the Kumai tribes belong to Jiwaka in terms of geography, language and culture affiliated to Jiwaka.
The integration of Kumai tribes to Jiwaka and Endugla and Bari into Gumine district is the best solution for Kerowagi.
It will restore their lost identity and align them with their roots, hence correct a colonial legal error and genocide that displaced them and alienated them from their own kind and placed them within the boundaries of Kerowagi.