Road upgrades vital for economy

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 26th March 2013


ROADS make a crucial contribution to the economic development and growth and bring important social benefits.

Poorly maintained roads hinder mobility, raise vehicle operational costs, cause poverty, poor health and illiteracy in rural communities.

People in the 16 council wards of Tepi local level government of Tari-Pori electorate, Hela, will no longer walk miles with their garden produce to Tari market after their feeder road was upgraded.

LLG deputy president Howard Matiabe thanked Governor Anderson Agiru for the upgrading and improved road and market access.

Matiabe said their people have had to walk long distances over rugged areas and across rivers to get to basic government services like healthcare and education.

“Now they just relax.

“After a long walk with their bags, they sit at the bus stop and wait for PMVs and you will see smiles on their faces once a PMV turns up,” he said.

Matiabe said in the past many schools, churches and health centres and aid posts faced difficulty in transporting materials and people had to carry them and walk long distances.

He said the upgraded road was a big relief to the people who had suffered for many years.

Many feeder roads in Hela are now going through a massive reconstruction and upgrading phase and the works department is one of the companies engaged.

During the Hela budget break up early this year, about 70% of the budget focused mainly on transport infrastructure development, especially roads, with priority to agriculture, health, education and law and order.