West coast road bad

Momase, Normal

The National, Thursday, May 19, 2011

SECTIONS of the country’s only international highway on the west coast of Wewak, East Sepik, has deteriorated and needs urgent maintenance to save it from cutting off road access to Indonesia.
The road from Boikin to Sowom had gone from bad to worse with huge potholes and swampy conditions which surfaced as a result of the continuous heavy rains since Easter.
Former Boikin-Dagua LLG president Mike Primus said on Tuesday that people at Hogi village had helped by filling up damaged sections near their village with coconut trunks to allow normal flow of traffic.
He said this important highway was built by their forefathers using bare hands during the reign of late Peter Simogun unlike other national highways which were built with the help of heavy duty equipment and machineries.
Primus said his people were frustrated because successive governments had failed to complement the efforts of their forefathers by upgrading and sealing the highway as a token of appreciation for their hard work.
He said the continuous years of neglect had seen major damages to sections of the road which have now gone beyond repair.
Primus is now calling on the national government to immediately address this problem as PMVs have also scaled down their operation due to the high cost of wear and tear.
The national highways are a function of the national government which the provincial works department is directly responsible.
Attempts to get comments from East Sepik works manager yesterday were unsuccessful.