By JEFFREY ELAPA
MORE than 30,000 people of Bundi in the Madang province have been cut off after their only bridge was washed away by floods last weekUsino-Bundi MP Samson Malcomb Kuli and several leaders including long-time resident and lay missionary Ben David, in an urgent meeting called on the National Government and the Prime Minister to rescue the people.
“They need access to get to town,” Mr Kuli said.
“Brahman Secondary School has been cut off, affecting more than 650 students and about 28 teachers.
“Five primary and two elementary schools, the Yandera copper mine, three health centres, Catholic mission station and several others have all been affected,” he said.
Mr Kuli said he would fund half of the cost of building the bridge but Prime Minster Sir Michael Somare must honour his commitment.
“The Prime Minister promised to fund a Mabey & Johnson Bridge across the Pukpuk River when campaigning for Madang Governor Sir Arnold Amet. Please fulfill your promise because the people are in dire need of a
bridge,” he said.
He said medical supplies and food rations for schools could not reach Bundi and “this poses a threat to the people”.
“The Government must bail out the people as this electorate is now in a state of emergency following floods and landslides,” he said.
Mr David, a missionary since 1961 who still lives at Brahman Catholic mission station, said: “I saw bridges being washed away and there is a threat the Bandu Bridge linking the Ramu nickel mine is also at risk.”
Mr David said there was a need to build an alternate route from Kesowai to Bundi and connect Simbu province.
Meanwhile, the Bundi people, who are the landowners of the Ramu nickel and the Yandera mine, called for the operators to help them build their bridge.