The National, Tuesday June 25th, 2013
By ISAIAH IGISH
A PASTOR in Malalaua district, Gulf, is appealing to the government to help his community maintain their road so they can access better services.
Pr Matthew Lavai of the Livingword Christian Fellowship in Robe village, Sepoe, said they desperately needed roads.
The road they use was part of the Hiritano Highway before the Trans-highway was built by former governor Chris Haiveta in 1997.
Lavai said before the construction of the Trans-highway, it only took them 30 minutes to get to their village by vehicle from Bereina.
He said now they had to walk for almost three to four hours with all their cargo to Waika, a pickup point, to wait for PMVs to go to Kerema Town or Port Moresby.
“Five villages are affected. We walk hours to reach the main road to access services,” Lavai, who is contesting the ward 8, East-Kerema local level government councillor’s seat, said.
The village has a rundown aid post so they had to walk to the highway to get on a vehicle to go to the nearest hospital.
“This area is full of the poisonous Papuan Black snake,” he said.
“We have lost young men and women to snake bites because we don’t have the necessary equipment for treatment in the village.
“Just last month, we lost a boy to snake bite. The villages gave him herbs and rushed him to Waika to wait for transportation but died on the way.”
To access the Robe village by vehicle, one has to drive to Iokea, where the feeder road there is in good condition, and drive back to the village using the road which has deteriorated.
The normal entry point from Bereina is unusable and is only accessible by 4WD in wet conditions.
To bypass all the mud and bumpy rides, cars use the black sandy beach for a smooth passage to the village during low tides.