Villager: Boat facilities needed

National, Normal

The National,Wednesday18 January 2012

THE two Manus MPs  have been challenged to provide proper boat stop facilities in Lorengau for the people of the outer islands of Manus.
A concerned Lou islander and television producer Reuben Pokanau said this after the New Year’s Eve boat incident in which three lives were lost.
“Loniu Bridge on Los Negros Island is used by the south coast sea travellers but does not have any proper shelter, sanitation and water supply for the growing population,” he said.
“About 20,000 people, just under half the population of Manus, live on the south coast of the province – including the islands of Rambutso, Lou, Baluan, Pam, M’Buke, and coastal areas of West Point, Timonai, Werei, Pere, M’Bunai and Lawes,” he said.
“Manus, as a maritime province, has more people living in the coastal areas and smaller atolls who commute by sea to seek government services and conduct business in Lorengau daily. But our elected leaders and provincial government have not provided the basic infrastructure.
“Are we not citizens of this province? 
“There have been a lot of unreported incidents at sea and we cannot continue like this.”
Pokanau said he had already talked with Manus Open MP and Fisheries Minister Job Pomat about negotiating with Loniu landowners to build proper transit facilities last year but nothing had eventuated.
He said North Coast sea travellers should also have such facilities.