West New Britain goes back to basics

Islands, Normal

PAPUA New Guinea has undergone so many reforms since 1975 that the people are confused and no longer interested in government rhetoric, West New Britain administrator Steven Raphael says.
He said during Independence Day celebrations in Kimbe that PNG had gone through reforms at 35 years what would take other countries hundreds of years to weather.
Rapheal said he believed the country was moving too fast forward without giving time to review whether past policies worked for the good of the country.
“Do we really need to open all these mines? Do we really need LNG now? Do we really need to cut down trees? Does anyone know what REDD and CDM mean?”
He said this was too much for a country that was 35 years old.
Raphael questioned whose standards PNG was following, whether it was the needs of the people that were being catered for or just to keep pace with the western world.
“The simple villager is still struggling to obtain appropriate health care and send children to a school where teachers know what the curriculum is, where it starts and ends.
“Mothers want to know when they can stop bringing their own dish of water or plastic of water to the health centre to give birth.
“The teacher wants to know when he can be upgraded so that he can properly impart OBE, so that he does not mislead his students”.
Raphael suggested that PNG slowed down its growth rate.
“We are not in the race with anybody, just ourselves and probably our egos so let us progress at our own rate so that we do not leave our common people behind.”
The provincial government had adopted the back to basics stuff in the last two years concentrating on bringing back basic health facilities, education facilities and infrastructure.