Town a health mess

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By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK and MARJORIE FINKEO
GOVERNMENT facilities in Daru town, Western are on the verge of a total shutdown as health authorities condemn buildings and services, including the prison, as health hazards.
Daru Mayor Samuel Wingu said the Western Provincial Health Authority recently issued notices to the police, Correctional Services, Defence Force, National Broadcasting Corporation, Post PNG, Daru General Hospital, PNG Power and the Fly River Provincial Government to fix sanitation problems and buildings they were occupying.
“The police barracks face water and sewage problems and all the police officers’ families have wells at the back of their houses,” he said.
“They use the water from the wells for their toilets and to wash. Their houses are also falling apart.”
He said the Defence Force camp and prison also faced sewage problems.
The National Broadcasting Corporation staff quarters and provincial government buildings had been declared “unfit to live and work in”.
Correctional Service Commissioner Stephen Pokanis said they had discussed the matter with health officials in Daru.
“Our team has been set up, a specialist officer is already at the site and a contractor will be engaged this week to quickly work on the problem,” Pokanis said.
Pokanis said the prison was allowed to continue operating after a 10-day notice by health officials lapsed last Friday.
“We don’t want to move prisoners out (to another prison such as Bomana in Port Moresby) and away from their families,” he said.
Wingu said all government residential areas had been condemned by the provincial health authority.
“This is a frontier town that shares the international border with Australia and Indonesia. And Daru is also the provincial capital of Western,” Wingu said.
“But Daru does not look like a town. It is not fit to be called a provincial capital. Most of the buildings were built in the colonial days and deteriorated because of neglect.” He said the town was built to cater for 5,000 people but now has a population of around 30,000.
“Services such as electricity, garbage, water, sewage and sanitation have broken down,” he said.
The Daru Rehabilitation Project plan to upgrade the town will cost K250 million.
“We submitted our plan to the Government in 2017. The South Fly District Development Authority and the Western government are to provide K8 million in counterpart funding.”

9 comments

  • What’s happening with the funds from PNGSDP parked offshore in Singapore Banks? Governor and others who visited last year haven’t disclosed the outcome of their trip. The funds can be sourced from there to rehabilitate Daru Town if the National and the Provincial Governments are unable to assist to rescue the town from its ruins.

    Ok Tedi Mine on the other end can also support.

  • We have funds under non-cmca that rightly belong to us but the GoPNG has yet to present the audit report to that effect to clear the way for us to access the funds. Should this option fail then DULLG shall execute Plan B that it has been working on to date.

  • Sewerage, drainage, has been a problem on this island for the last 30 years.
    When is a proper treatment plant and pumping station going to be installed large enough to cater for the whole island as recommended ever year by the experts and private consultants.
    No money … getting more expensive every year.
    Small investment for the mine in comparison to there massive profits, this island has been used as the hardware to the mine for 35 years about time some benefits actually hit the ground here.

  • We should not blame the Government, lets blame the people who manage the system, does the Provincial Administrators has weekly meetings with provincial heads how to manage the little town, do they identify hazards on weekly basis to put controls in place before it gets out of hand….It is how smart you are solve small problems with little you have before it gets out of hand……

  • This is a clear example of many other small towns dotted throught out the length and breath of this country who once enjoyed their glory days during the colonial era. Howevet, now everything has gone yo bush despite what we may boost about being a resource rich country, this has not translated into real tangible development in the rural areas of the country.

  • When can we ever learn to be PROACTIVE rather than being reactive? It would seem that the whole government bureaucracy from the top down merely reacts to problems and circumstances as and when they really get out of hand. No one has the foresight and insight to properly evaluate and gauge situations, predict possible adverse effects/outcomes, and take proactive remedial actions before situations evolve into big problems and/or epidemics.
    This really reflects on the low quality people employed in strategic decision making positions within the bureaucracy. Whether you agree with me or not, that is my take on the whole situation, not just in Daru but almost every other place in this country.

  • Can the PNG Government , Sir Mekere & CEO David Sode of PNGSDP share some light on funds parked in Singapore. Western Province cry is far from over.
    Border Province is at risk from a serious pandemic outbreak.

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