The National, Friday July 5th, 2013
WE refer to an article by ‘Eye of truth’, referring to development brought to the people of Pomio by Paul Tiensten (The National, June 5).
While we agree on a few of the comments raised by the writer, not enough has been done in the district in the past 11 years.
A low priority rating for Pomio has denied the majority of the people living there access to quality basic government services.
Obviously, we feel that such services have to be fairly and equally distributed among the coastal and inland communities so that ripple effects can trickle down to have an economic impact on the livelihoods of the Pomio people.
The writer said that the new Rano-Aona road was constructed to serve the people of Mamusi and coastal areas, but failed to reveal the total cost of the construction.
We note that the information was grossly misrepresented and exaggerated.
The fact is the road was constructed during colonial times by our ancestors in the mid-1980s to make it easy for the missionaries to travel into the area.
Since then, the road has been abandoned, allowing bush and forest to grow over it.
Recently, about four to five kilometres of this road from Rano to Sivaunawere was upgraded by a company engaged in oil-palm farming and logging in the area.
The writer also said that the Uvol ring road was constructed to service the Melkoi LLG, but the fact is there is no ring road in Melkoi.
This is a slap on the face of the people of Melkoi and Mamusi as we continue to struggle and wish that our MP would develop the road infrastructure to make life easy for us.
The only road the people from Uvol and nearby Mamusi village use is the Kimbe-Kandrian road. It takes them hours or a day to reach the PMV bus stop.
The Uvol wharf is still incomplete and nowhere near completion.
Shipping services are provided once a week.
There is no police presence in Uvol, Palmalmal or other parts of the district.
The one and only policeman in Pomio, based at Palmalmal, died last year, but how can one officer look after a district of more than 11,000 sq km with a population of more than 60,000 people?
Pomio is still under-developed. We must tell the truth about how it is progressing or not.
The road network and air or shipping services are vital foundations for further developments.
How can we improve our economic and social statistics if there are no roads or bridges to connect communities, bring in medical supplies, school materials or send out garden or commercial produce as well as other developments such as electricity and water supplies?
Coastal and inland people are investing in cash crops such as cocoa, copra, coffee, etc, but lack of these basic services is a major hindrance.
All the district’s health centres and aid posts have deteriorated and are in dire need of upgrading.
Education should also be given priority.
More should be done in all our schools to fully equip them to provide quality education for our children.
The MP should now be thinking about investing in human resources by subsidising tertiary education fees and even providing scholarships for overseas education.
Tiensten has been so quiet. He needs to come out of hiding in his comfort zones either in Manus or Port Moresby and address his people.
We are lost and kept in the dark by the so-called vibrant, young and capable leader.