The National, Tuesday February 4th, 2014
GOVERNMENT services in remote Josephstaal local level government in Madang will stop from tomorrow until the provincial government guarantees to fix the Bogia-Josephstaal road.
Public servants, mostly teachers, gathered yesterday at their Catholic headquarters in Madang to express frustration and difficulties travelling into the area to carry out their duty.
They are now working on a petition to present to Governor Jim Kas to stop work for 14 days and demand assurance from the provincial government to fix the road.
The teachers said road conditions to the Josephstaal station was terrible and needed immediate attention and consideration.
“We will not start teaching this week until the government assures us to fix the deteriorated Bogia-Josephstaal road,” a teacher, Willie Yatukru, said. He said public servants working in agriculture, health, law and order and education sectors spent so much time travelling to the station and many left jobs because of the bad roads.
Yatukru said they used to spend a lot of money paying for transport that usually left them only halfway to their destinations.
They had to pay extra to local youths to carry school and medical supplies and private belongings from there to the other end.
Nephien Angrai, another teacher, said they pay close to K2,000 as labour fee to youth groups for carrying their supplies.
Desmond Saso, a resident said: “We used to take ropes, torches and cooking pots to cook and feed ourselves and pull our vehicles and used our torches at nights.”
Catholic education secretary Bruno Tulemanil said all health and education services at Josephstaal were operated by the mission.
“We have 200 teachers in 11 schools and 7,600 students will be affected if they stop work,” he said.
He said the road condition was a big problem for the 16,000 people in the area and he could not divulge any more regarding action by the teachers.
Desmond Saso,whose wife is a health worker there, said they often drove through slush.
“We used to take ropes, torches and cooking pots to cook and feed ourselves and pull our vehicles and used our torches at nights,” Saso said.
Catholic education secretary in Madang, Bruno Tulemanil, said all health and education services at Josephstaal were operated by the mission.
“We have more than 200 teachers there in 11 schools and 7600 students will be affected if teachers stop work,” Tulemanil said.