Popondetta gets K200,000 barracks for firefighters


THE Popondetta fire station has new barracks worth over K200,000 for use by firefighters on shifts.
The building was officially opened by PNG Fire Service acting chief fire officer Bill Roo on Monday last week.
Roo told the officers and the community in Popondetta to take ownership of the building and other buildings belonging to the fire service.
“I want to acknowledge the support from the National Planning Department and Treasury and Finance Department to see the barrack as it is now,” he said.
“We still need more renovations and rehabilitation work to be carried out on all the existing fire stations around the country.”
Roo said many buildings were run-down and going from bad to worse
He said developments around the country were picking up and the fire services had to keep abreast of those developments.
“The buildings have lived their lives, so on a piecemeal basis we are slowly extending the little funding that have been made available,” he said.
He thanked the government for its support to rehabilitate the barracks in Northern.
The barracks contain separate quarters for male and female firefighters, with common rooms and other facilities for officers to use while on durt.
Meanwhile, a senior public servant has called on the Northern provincial government to take ownership of the new facility.
“When government services are established in provinces, the provinces too must take ownership to support those services,” said Jonathan Kenneth, from the Department of National Planning and Monitoring.
“It is not always an easy task for the government every year when coming up with budget allocations and dividing funding between government agencies, statutory bodies and government departments.
“The fire service is one of the few fortunate ones that have at least
received something from the government despite their request for K26 million, we were unable to meet that request.
“So we came up with some figures just to keep the fire service going in terms of rehabilitation and maintenance of duty barracks, staff accommodation, fire station and overall operations.”
He said the provincial government should look after what the national government has provided and support the work of government agencies so that those agencies can do their job.
Kenneth told the fire officers that it was not easy for the fire service to secure development funding from the government, therefore the officers should look after the new building and existing infrastructure.