The National, Monday 15th April, 2013
I AM a rugby league fan and it is interesting to see Peter Ipatas supporting and promoting the game not only in Enga but nationwide.
The Coca-Cola Ipatas Cup has been a success and it has attracted many players.
Many raw talents have been discovered through this competition and some have gone on to play in the Digicel Cup and some even represented the country.
However, I cannot understand why Ipatas is using his public office and his capacity as the regional member of Enga to reach other parts of PNG through rugby league.
So far, the game has not done anything to resolve the problems we face in Enga.
Also, no Engan player has ever made it to the Kumuls, NRL or elsewhere as far as rugby league is concerned.
Today, Enga continues to have some of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the country.
Tribal fighting is still rampant, accumulation of illegal firearms is a norm these days and our roads and bridges are all in a deplorable state.
Although the governor likes to boast about his free education policy, we still have three children in every household denied access to basic education.
In addition, the entire health system in Enga is below the national department of health standards.
Enga is third highest in the country when it comes to HIV/AIDS infection ratings.
The road linking Lower Lai to Kompiam is simply impassible, not to mention the road to Kandep.
Poor landowners in Porgera are dying every day as they struggle to make a living in the gold-rich Porgera Valley.
I just wonder what sort of lasting solution Enga will find while the
so-called “action governor” goes
on a spending spree of public funds nationwide in the name of rugby league while Engans continue to suffer.
To make matters worse, the recently approved 2013 Enga provincial budget only reflects on the governor’s aspirations to develop his home district of Wabag.
About 75% of the budget is mainly centred and confined in Wabag.
I wonder if this is what we call equal distribution of public goods and services.
A good thinking Engan needs to analyse if rugby league has been a remedy to the challenges we continue to face in our daily life and how the game can be used as a tool for development.