By BRADLEY MARIORI
A SURVIVOR on the Sarawaget Range where 16 people died while trekking to Indagen in Kabwum is blaming the deaths on a lack of government services in Kabwum.
David Sani, from Waren village in the Komba local level government area of Kabwum, said he was one of the people trekking over the Sarawaget Range to Indagen but was luckily rescued by a Manolos Aviation helicopter on Monday.
“If there was road access, no one would risk their lives walking,” he said.
“We were part of the occasion because our forefathers were the ones involved in delivering the word of God to the remote areas of Kabwum, Morobe, and the Highlands region 100 years ago.”
Sani said the government’s negligence in building roads in such rural areas like Kabwum had cost the lives of some innocent people and it’s an eye opener for the government now to look into rural areas around the country and connect them with roads. “The number of lives lost is too many compared to the past when one or two people died while trying to walk the Sarawaget Range to Kabwum,” he said.
Sani was part of a 10-man group who left West Taraka in Lae last Wednesday to walk the Sarawaget Range to Indagen. It was to mark the 100th anniversary of the first Lutheran missionaries’ arrival in Morobe.
Sani said six men returned to Lae and along the way and four of them, including him, continued the journey.
He said while walking, two of them got lost in the jungle and he and another man continued to walk until they were rescued by a Manolos helicopter on Monday.
“We met more than five different groups while we were walking. We saw three children die of cold and many others died right in front of our eyes.
“We heard that the road was okay and many people walked with women and children but it turned out the opposite, where many people died of cold and hunger.”
By BRADLEY MARIORI