Restoration work starts in Northern

Normal, Papua

The National, Monday, May 16, 2011

THE Northern Province Restoration Authority (NPRA) is prioritising tasks under its huge works programme, acting manager Dunstan Sawarava Iagoro said.
Responding to criticism from villagers that the authority had not done anything to restore services in the province after Cyclone Guba in November 2007, Iagoro said they could not out all the tasks the people wanted simultaneously.
He said the first seven months after the disaster was managed by the State of Emergency led by the PNG Defence Force and all money used during that period was not the authority’s responsibility.
He said in June 2008 the National Executive Council passed the NPRA Act under which the authority had been supposed to restore all infrastructure damaged by Cyclone Guba.
He said under the restoration programme the authority had to work in consultation with the provincial administration to implement restoration programmes.
“We do not just go ahead to do work but we to do it in accordance with the plan,” he said.
Iagoro said after the NEC passed the NPRA Act, the Ombudsman Commission froze all NPRA accounts after identifying discrepancies.
He said that took almost 18 months during which time all work came to a standstill.
He said in 2009, the ban was lifted but the authority then had to document and prioritised work again.
He said the authority had taken almost eight months to do all the documentation and mobilise resources to begin re-establishing infrastructure.
Iagoro said the authority was focused on food security and the restoration of infrastructure programs.
Iagoro admitted the authority was charging a fee for all cocoa plants given to people.
“I do not agree with free handouts. We need to pay a K1 fee to assist the field extension officers involved in the exercise,” he said.
He said people must have patience because the task ahead was enormous.