Slide cuts off Gumine-Kundiawa

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 07th Febuary 2012

HEAVY rains have resulted in a massive landslide that has cut off the Gumine-Kundiawa Road in Chimbu.
Immediate clearing efforts have been complicated by compensation demands by landowners of the landslide site at the Boneyau section of the road in the Gaima area.
Police at Gumine and district administration staff said the landslide debris measuring nearly 20m had been blocking the road for two weeks.
Compensation of K5,000 offered by the Gumine district administration last Friday was rejected by the landowners.
However, when district administrator Daing Kil returned with the money the next day (Saturday), the landow­ners accepted and allowed clearance work to begin.
Normal traffic flow in and out of Gumine district was expected to be restored by Monday.
Landowners had initially wanted K20,000, saying a previous landslide occurred near the area had been given that amount because structures and plants had been destroyed.
But unlike the Gaima landslide, the disaster occurred on barren sloppy grassland where no gardens and structures were destroyed.
The landslide has affected school children and teachers returning to their schools.
Travellers, especially parents taking their children to schools, especially those travelling to Omkolai High School, in Gumine, had to get off on one side of the landslide before crossing over the debris and then boarding the next PMV trucks on their other side.
A concerned Grade 10 student from Gumine travelling to attend Kabiufa Secondary School, outside Goroka town, Eastern Highlands, condemned the actions of a minority group of people who only “want easy cash to cause havoc to the flow of goods and services and movement of students”.
An excavator operated the by Gumine Works Unit was on the site to clear the debris but work was delayed by the compensation demand.