By GERALDINE VILAKIVA
PEOPLE must take the lead in initiating projects in their communities before asking their local MPs and the Government for help.
Local MP and Health Minister Sasa Zibe said this last Friday when speaking to the community of Munum, stressing the need for more community-initiated projects in his Huon Gulf electorate.
Mr Zibe said that most times, people depended too much on handouts from the Government and this made them lazier to start projects such as building teachers’ houses, water supply and aid post for themselves.
“I don’t believe in free hands-out as it makes people lazy, but if you want my assistance, you have to raise your hands, meaning you have to a start a project first before I can assist,” he said.
Mr Zibe said there were funds available for projects under health and education votes in his electorate but he challenged the communities to “start initiating projects before assistance is given”.
He was speaking during the opening a new teacher’s house at Mumun Primary School, 25km outside Lae.
The three-bedroom teacher’s house is the first to be built under the pilot project taken in the Huon Gulf electorate through its K10 million district service improvement programme (DSIP) fund.
From the funds, K1 million was allocated to Education in which K290,000 of the funds were for the pilot project of building a teacher’s house in 14 schools throughout the three districts of Salamua, Morobe and Wampar.
Mumun Primary School is the first to benefit from the project.
Under the sweat-equity policy, the community provided the timbers and manpower for the project while the service provider, Waria Eco-homes assisted with machines and other hardware to complete the house.
The project was completed within three weeks at a cost of K20,000.
Mr Zibe applauded the commitments shown by the Munum community and also promised a water supply to be installed for the community next year.