Survey: Beggars an eyesore

National, Normal

The National, Monday August 5th, 2013


BEGGARS in Kokopo town, East New Britain, are becoming an eyesore, according to an online survey.

With businesses expanding and many developments happening in the town and province, beggars are increasingly become an unwelcome sight.

An online survey showed that many people in the province wanted beggars off the streets of Kokopo.

More than a 100 people expressed their “dislike” of beggars on the streets of Kokopo.

Begging in public is common in other centres such as Port Moresby and Lae. But no action has been taken to remove them.

Helam Koaik, a businesswoman in East New Britain and the president of the group ENB Today, had a chat with one of the beggars in Kokopo. 

She said while many of them had similar stories to tell about financial hardship they faced, they were an eyesore and should be discouraged from begging on the streets.

“Erex (the beggar) is from Mendi and has been sick for two years and seven months and claims to owe K300 to people while he was still in Raniolo settlement,” she said. 

“He now claims to be staying at Vunapope hospital as a patient, evident in the sores on his body from injections.” 

She said people in Kokopo offered money to the beggars but the provincial government and its administration should start a programme to help them.

“They should not be on the streets begging, they should be assisted at a proper centre and later be able to look after themselves,” Koiak said.