The National, Friday October 18th, 2013
WOMEN and youths from remote villages in Yangoru-Saussia district, East Sepik, had a chance to vent their frustrations at being neglected by past leaders for 38 years when their MP, Richard Maru, visited the area.
Maru’s visit to the Turinghi Catholic Station, in the Saussia local level governemnt, saw women and youths calling for development programmes in their communities.
Youth leader in the Saussia LLG council, Messias Wagia said for 38 years, school drop-outs and those who could not afford schools fees were left to face hardship.
“Many youths have turned to crime to sustain their livelihood,” Wagia said.
He called on Maru, the Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister, to initiate a youth credit scheme to start businesses and initiate development programmes that would keep them away from crime.
“Youths make up 75% of people in the district so it is paramount that they are heavily engaged in activities that will contribute to the development of the district,” Wagia said.
“In your five years as our MP, we want to work with you to develop our district.”
Women’s leader, Mathila Mifa, echoed similar concerns and said women in the Saussia LLG were asking for a women’s centre be built in their LLG.
Mifa said the centre could provide training programmes in sewing and cooking.
Maru said women and youths would receive recognition once basic government services were delivered to the district.
“We have to clean up the district from criminal activities, develop and improve roads, construct health centres and upgrade schools facilities before we start bringing any programmes for youths and women into the district,” Maru said.