By PISAI GUMAR
THE Wau-Bulolo national highway is seriously affected with landslides cutting off sections of the road.
Since January, there have been 16 landslips – one last week costing the life of a road contractor who was maintaining the Wau-Biaru road.
Reports said the man was swept in the landslip into the Bulolo River at Maus Kuranga.
Two others including the district Works coordinator Turio Kizong were injured.
Commuters are fearing for their lives.Wau rural LLG manager Tai Gwambelek said the continuous wet season in the area caused the soil to erode due to heavy gardening and alluvial mining activities by settlers at the top and side of the mountains.
The other factor was because of a lack of proper drainage to allow run-off to flow of into the river systems.
“The landslip at Maus Kuranga forced Grace Memorial Secondary School students to carry two tonnes of rice bags donated by the European Union from Pine Top to Wau,” principal Ipisah Wanega said.
While a D3 bulldozer is working, Mr Wanega is worried that when the rations finish, he is not sure how he will replenish the stock.
The land slips have affected road sections at Warabung at the border of Huon Gulf and Bulolo districts all the way to Wau.
Provincial Works manager Andrew Thavung said funds requested from the headquarters in Waigani to fix the road since January were not forthcoming.
“The road is within our jurisdiction but a ‘delay system’ within responsible authorities is affecting the business and the public,” he said.
Mr Thavung said local contractors were urged to report to the Works office “if willing to maintain the road and receive the payment”.