Lae archive building slowly rotting away

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THE Lae archive building at Mangola Street that houses Government information for 42 years until 1996 is slowly but surely rotting away.
Significant information and records since 1954 that have helped shape the country no longer seem to be cared for much.
Morobe has no public library.
The Education Department through the Archives and Library unit established the provincial archive in Lae in March 1974. It was meant to cater for Government and administration files for Mamose and New Guinea Islands.
The building has two repositories, catering for 1080 cubic metres of government information files from 1954-1996.
Each repositories contain records for tax census registers, Kiap patrol reports, community, high, vocational and tertiary school reports, Works and Supply (ComWorks), Labour and Workers’ Compensation, Policy Planning and Research and records for Finance inspection, Department of Primary Industries (DPI), Forestry, Local-Level Government, Justice (criminal and coroner), Health, Welfare and Personnel Management.
The building needs a refurbishment, cool room with specific lightings, computerised data storage, office equipment and proper fencing.
The only DPI report was from West Sepik and court reports from Madang were sighted.
Senior archivist Julian Maki wonders where the government divisions and agencies were now storing their information records.
“To progress into future, you need to know your history and in terms of western knowledge and development, archives is where you will find all necessary information to plan your future,” Maki said.
She said that most department heads did not know the significance and value of information and record-keeping for future purposes.
Maki aspires to see all primary and secondary schools their own libraries.
“We are told to relocate to Eriku where the Flexible Open Distance Education (FODE) Centre so libraries and archives will come under one umbrella but when is the question,” Maki said.
The provincial government in 2014-2015 invested a million kina to build a library and archive.
Until today, nothing has happened.