Villagers pitch in to upgrade Kokoda road

National, Normal

The National – Tuesday, December 14, 2010

COMMUNITIES from four ward council areas living along the Kokoda Track have raised money to repair the deteriorated Madilogo Road in the Koiari LLG, Central.
This is part of the Kokoda Track Authority’s (KTA) tourism services payments and self-help programme.
KTA chief executive officer Rod Hillman said the payment for the road repair came from the four wards out of the K10,000 given to them by KTA. 
Each ward contributed K2,500 out of the K10,000 they each received towards providing food and manpower to fix the road.
“This is a really good initiative  and we appeal for more support,” Koiari LLG president Ogi David said.
“Madilogo Road is the quickest route for villages on and off the track. It’s the fastest way to get into town.
“At the moment, the road is nearly impassable so upgrading is important not just for the village people, but also to provide access for trekkers who may need to use this road as an alternative route,” he said.
“Tourism services payments are empowering the people to make decisions about what they want in their village and their wards.”
KTA chairman James Enage said the tourism services payments were a direct benefit from trekking fees.
“We are working with the LLG to ensure a coordinated and effective delivery of funds.
“The Madilogo Road is a great example of what this money can be used for. Communities have also expressed interest in using these funds to repair community halls and to start agriculture projects and training programmes,” Enage said.
Work on the road will start this month with village youths to assist.
A total of K160,000 of tourism services payments will be distributed to 14 wards across the Kokoda Track this year.