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June 21, 2021
Highlands News Your Vote 2017

Appropriation Bills vs Developments in Jiwaka Province

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Image: Once functioning Kol District Office that hosted the Council Chamber and public servants’ offices – Image Credit: Nolan Kom

Nothing much is on the ground to show for the application of close to half a billion Kina received by the Jiwaka Provincial Government, according to Nolan Kom, a regional candidate for Jiwaka province who is an accountant.

“This is the amount that was sent to Jiwaka Province, contrary to the amounts the Governor and the Provincial Administrator was saying,” Kom told EMTV Online.

It is alleged that the infrastructure and developments on the ground do not equate the Appropriation Bill received from the National Government.

Evidence from traced budget papers and payment warrants showed that Jiwaka Province received a total of K453, 129.2 million total appropriation bills from 2013 to 2017.

Mt Au Health Center in remote Kambia, Jiwaka Province. (Photo Credit: Jiwaka Students and Graduates Association)

From the total appropriation bills, it is evident that Provincial Services Improvement Program funds and District Service Improvement Program funds totalled K65 million and K138 million respectively.

Transport and infrastructure maintenance grants for the years 2013 to 2017 totalled K33.8 million, Health and Education function grants are K16 million and K21.5 million, respectively accumulative for 2013 to 2017, Public Servants Personnel Emoluments totalled K31.9 million and Teachers’ Salaries totalled K108 million.

Kom said close to half a billion Kina was budgeted and expanded for Jiwaka province, but the developments on the ground do not show.

According to available information, EMTV Online understands that people had shown concerns in the deteriorating states of roads and infrastructures, service deliveries and disaster relief assistance and abuse of public funds in the province.

Earlier this year, hundreds of Jimi people have gathered in a biggest ever public forum in Banz town and brushed aside claims on one of the dailies stating better Jimi-Waghi road network. The forum confirmed that the road from Banz to Kol and Koinambe was in a worse condition. Kom, who has been to Jimi District during his campaign trip said the roads are inaccessible and the once functioning Kol District Office is in ruins.

Bridge of a road leading into Kol Station, Jimi District, Jiwaka Province. (Photo Credit: Nolan Kom)

“The building is once functioning Kol District Office which also hosted the Council Chamber. Now it is in ruins and no public servants,” Kom spoke to EMTV Online showing the picture he took.

Rural health facilities and transportation systems like the airstrips and roads have been neglected, according to Jiwaka Students and Graduates Association Inc.

Disaster relief supplies have not arrived to the several communities who had suffered destruction and loss of properties from flooding Tuman and Waghi Rivers, hailstorms in Tombil area this year.

In 2016 , more than K3 million transferred from Western Highlands Provincial Administration to the Jiwaka Provincial Administration was allegedly lost which was difficult to trace, according to Jiwaka Acting Human Resource Program Manager, Stefan Wusik. Wusik brushed aside the allegations and claims the media report was misleading on social media.

Although Jiwaka Provincial government Structure was approved in 2011 by the National Government, Jiwaka still struggles with its public service machinery and funding five years later.

Kom urges the people of Jiwaka to vote someone who can put their money to use and not just leave them with figures.

Meanwhile, Polling in Jiwaka province is set for Friday June 30, 2017.

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