Northern taken on a ride for too long

Letters, Normal

The National – Thursday, February 17, 2011

WHERE is Sinai Brown and the Oro Restoration Authority?
Can Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare and the government tell us the people of Northern where Sinai Brown is or what has become of the Oro Restoration Authority?
Since Cyclone Guba in 2007 there has hardly been any development on the ground.
Northern continues to suffer from natural disasters, including the recent pounding by Cyclone Yasi, yet the silence by Brown and the ORA is deafening.
The Somare government’s appointment of Brown was clearly a “job for the boys” at the expense of the suffering people of Northern after he lost the Gazelle seat in East New Britain and that is now very evident in the total lack of infrastructure and other developments since 2007.
Since Cyclone Guba, every bridge from Popondetta to
Kokoda remains completely destroyed (except the temporary bridge at Kumusi).
The Oro Kaiva people are made to act like camels as they risk their lives carrying their cargo on their backs and crossing these dangerous rivers when they flood.
PMV owners continue to put up with high costs of maintenance as a result of vehicle damage from the wet crossings.
Yet, we have not heard one single word from Brown or the ORA about when these bridges will be replaced.
Brown, as ORA chairman, has not even come out to the media and tell us what donor funding or support – if any – he has secured since his appointment. He has not laid out the recovery and redevelopment plan for Oro.
It seems the people of Northern were wrongly made to believe that given his past experience as former planning and national
development minister and also his work through the Gazelle Restoration Authority – Northern was in safe hands.
What a load of rubbish. Ordinary Papua New Guineans also raised millions of kina after Guba’s devastation, these monies have been abused and stolen, yet no one has been held responsible.
Individials who milked the funds dry were named in an investigation undertaken by the auditor-general’s office yet no one has been charged and locked behind bars.
One commercial bank which was also found to have colluded with these culprits to steal monies from the people has not been made to account.
The people of Northern deserve better and we have been taken on a ride for too long. It is indeed shameful and disgusting to think that those in authority failed our people miserably.

Kaiva Man
Goruta Street