THE recent article titled “Poverty and pandemic in Pacific” by Chris Hoy states that an estimated 36 per cent of Papua New Guineans are currently living on less than AU$1.90 (K2.99 a day).
And PNG is among the poorest nations of the world.
In my view PNG is a rich nation.
Most of our people are not regular income earners and are not under the government pension as in other countries.
We cannot use the matrix that was set up for developed countries such as Australia to measure how much each Papua New Guinean is using per day.
Seventy per cent of our population are living in the rural areas.
Some in very remote places where you hardly will find basic government services such as schools, hospitals, road, water and sanitation, electricity etc.
People there live by means of subsistence farming – and the land provides for them.
Whatever they produce are mostly for their own consumption.
This was the way of life during the traditional days and still is today.
They bring their surplus to the markets and the income made from these sales are usually for buying basic necessities such as salt, sugar, cooking oil and soap.
Money is not everything for someone who lives in the remotest part of PNG – that is where the bulk of the populations are based.
As long as they have the basic necessities they are content.
When there is global recession or economic downturn due to pandemics it does not impact the remote part of PNG – life goes on as normal.
People own the land and again the land provides them with all their needs.
They do not pay bills – rentals, water, electricity, mortgage etc. everything is free.
We do not have to use the methodology that was set up by other countries to measure ourselves against them.
We are unique – people own the land and the land supports them will their needs.
Zuguru – Bena Bridge