No money to fix Rabauls roads

National, Normal


RABAUL town’s business houses warn of serious consequences if the local authorities do not quickly act to repair the roads and drains.
Last Thursday, less than 24 hours after the super liner Queen Mary visited Rabaul, the roads to the Port were completely closed due to flooding and erosion damage.
Large parts of the town were cut off as the main road was washed away.
A double-cab reportedly swept away in the flood waters.
In a meeting last week between Rabaul Urban LLG and business houses, it was revealed there was no money to fix the problem.
Businessmen are very angry and are calling on their chamber of commerce to do something to force the authorities to act.
One businessman reportedly spent more than K60,000 clearing mud washed into his property from the town roads.
The chamber of said members had spent nearly K750,000 last year to deal with silt from the roads which should have been the town council’s responsibility.
They warned the  council in 2007 that unless they carried out maintenance, then roads would be lost in heavy rain.
Money has been promised from the National Government, but nothing has been achieved with what little that has been spent.
The chamber is taking the matter up with the authorities.
The Rabaul Travelodge said it had been hit by floods four times in three months because the road drains were clogged.
Travelodge boss Tim Wilson said the hotel had been flooded  with water rushing into the hotel premises from Mango Avenue.
“Mt Tavurvur has since stopped giving us problems until the flooding from the heavy rains started,” he said.
“We have to use a Bobcat to remove thick silt deposits.
“The drainage should not be underground because it is difficult for cleaning when they are clogged.
“The simpler it is, the easier to clean,” he said.