By ALISON ANIS
DEVELOPMENT including access to services such as health, education, road and transport, clean water, electricity and robust informal economic sector must exist in the least developed or rural areas to reverse the trend of rural-urban migration in the country.
This was the call from group of squatter settlers in Port Moresby which included mothers, ward councillors and public servants last week during the UN millennium campaign public hearing organised by Transparency International PNG.
The group told the panel of activists last Wednesday that while some of them were in search of better education and health services and better living standards in the urban areas, others had come to bring their requests to their Members of Parliament of the services lacking in their districts.
“When I returned home, I found out that quality of education in remote villages was not what I wanted for my children. Most of the classrooms were rundown, teachers were hardly in schools and the poor students were left to themselves most of the time.
“It is because of that reason that I am back in Port Moresby so my children can have access to good education,” a retrenched public servant from the highlands region said.
“The number of families living in settlements keeps on going up every year.
“The increase of family members deals a hard blow to our scarce financial base and most of the time we are forced to resort to illegal activities to earn income,” a settlement mother said.
“The government must really look at developing rural areas and in bringing in good services into each provincial districts so we can return home,” she added.