Services depend on all

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 19th of February, 2014

THE full restoration of essential government services to Arawa and other centres in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville will depend on everyone, State Enterprises Minister Ben Micah said on Monday.
He was speaking at the reopening of the Post PNG and Air Niugini offices in Arawa, which were closed about 25 years ago after war ravaged the island. The conflict over the copper rich Panguna mine caused much bloodshed on the island. 
Micah said restoration would take place if everyone took ownership of the problem that had plagued the island and looked at finding solutions.
He said with the resumption of the postal and airline ticketing services, water, power, education and health would follow and he had taken upon himself the task of making sure government services resumed.
Micah said the visit by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to Buka, Panguna and Arawa recently and his public apology to the people was a genuine and humbling step for the top leader whose government was keen on rolling out the restoration process starting with basic government services, many of which were provided by state-owned enterprises.
“The opening of the Post Office is one of those steps towards normalcy and water and sewerage projects are next. We will be working with the Bougainville government, landowners and Water PNG staff and will finalise scoping for projects over the next few weeks,” he said.
Micah said similar services would be brought to Torokina, Buin and other centres so that people would not have to travel long distances to seek government services.
He said the people’s prayers for a miracle during difficult times could only be answered if people heeded God’s word to do good.
“I will be the man to bring Bougainville back to where it was before, if not better.
“The tears of hardship, struggle and pain must be removed from Bougainville,” Micah said.

Micah was the first use the Salim Mani Kwik facility at the Arawa Post Office when he sent K200 to his brother Charles in Kavieng.
Communications Minister Jimmy Miringtoro purchased the first postal box(1) out the 216 the Post Office was starting with.
People from Central and South Bougainville have had to travel long distances by road and sea to access postal and purchase air tickets on Buka Island.
Air Niuginiflights to the AropaAirport near Arawa is also expected to resume soon when the airport is re-opened in two weeks.
Four MPs from Bougainville and executives from Post PNG, PNG Power, Air Niugini and IPBC were at the opening.