Morata in great need for services

Letters

IT has been a far outcry especially the occupants of National Housing Corporation (NHC) houses in the mid 1990s to late 1990s and even today to live decently.
The low cost homes erected in Morata, Port Moresby, by the colonial administration in the late 1960s saw the need of city workers and dwellers to have proper and affordable homes.
The first tenants to move in were my parents in the early 1970s.
Most occupants were from Morobe.
In the early 1970s to late 1980s, the water supply, sewerage system and garbage collection services provided at that time were reliable and efficient.
These were the basic human needs in a developing country such as Papua New Guinea.
You did not have to walk long distances to look for water or dug pits for your rubbish.
All were provided for right at the doorstep.
The services provided under the housing dwelling projects such as land, sewerage and garbage disposal were met by NHC annually from the rent collected.
Water bills were paid for separately by the tenants.
However, as more people started moving into the city, the demand for housing and other basic needs increased.
There was a rise in population and squatter settlements started to emerge and brought with them a lot of social issues.
The services provided as part of the NHC commitment started to decline and eventually ceased in the late 1980s.
The low cost homes started to rot or fall apart with no renovations, leaving the situation at the mercy of the tenants who continued to pay their rentals or gave up due to the deteriorating conditions.
Some have sold their homes and have moved elsewhere while others returned to their home provinces.
Being raised in Morata with my siblings and other members of the community, we have not seen services mentioned earlier at our doorsteps since the late 1980s.
Morata became a lost suburb in Port Moresby and was neglected by the authorities.
Over 30 years the ever increasing population and housing demand led to illegal connection of water by squatters squatting on State land, depriving the NHC housing residents of water supply, sewerage and garbage disposal system leading to residents to resort to other means.
Some dug pits and/or dispose rubbish on road sides and anywhere it fits.
It was very difficult without the basic humanity needs for a growing population.
In early 2000, the Government, under former prime minister late Sir Mekere Morauta, introduced the first housing giveaway scheme or low cost homes.
The occupants of the low cost homes under the NHC were given the opportunity to buy these homes and own them.
They were advised to pay in full or part all outstanding housing arrears prior to the transfer of the title.
Under the housing giveaway scheme, the sewerage and garbage collection systems were never mentioned.
Even with a recent transfer of the housing property under the housing giveaway scheme, the claim was never mentioned until the property was to be resold only to discover that the bills has surfaced.
It was frustrating and annoying that the claim does not justify the hardships and struggles one has gone through when the services ceased to operate or have become non-existent throughout the decades.
Morata has just began to see the light through the end of the tunnel because of new infrastructures such as road networks and new water pipes being constructed to meet city demands and amenities such as shops that are now run by foreigners.
At the moment, Morata is still struggling to have basic services.
When will the NHC do away with such arrogant pretext?
The arrogance is only causing injustice to the very fundamental fabric of our society and Constitution.
Hopefully Morata will get the services it deserves in the coming years.

Frustrated Citizen,
Morata

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