It was getting dark as we approached Sim village, after trekking for more than 5 hours on foot in the hinterlands of the Wau-Bulolo district.
We were on an expedition into some of the isolated villages in the Waria Local level government, only accessible by foot. The trip organized by the Bulolo MP, Sam Basil, took six days to complete. It was part of a series of assessment and service delivery trips to this part of his electorate.
The journey into these villages brought to light, the struggles of these mountain people. “We don't get medical attentions here; health workers have left, and medicines were never delivered on time”, said Raphael Yasi, a local village Councillor.
About two years ago, the aid post ceased to operate, as medical supplies never arrived, and the health workers stopped coming. Whilst spending the night at the Kasangare village, a woman was ferried on a stretcher by her children for several kilometers to get a helicopter we had travelled on. She was lucky. Many others before her died even before getting to hospital.
The struggles you see here show how the poor service delivery stemming from neglect and bad management over the years, has affected the people. Allocated funds meant for rural areas were either misused or were diverted to be used on other areas.
“We have a serious problem in delivering services effectively to our rural population. But first, we have to find out where our money is going to; it's with the provincial government but we arent sure how it's being used”, the Bulolo MP, Sam Basil said.
Bad governance has hindered the delivery of services. Bureaucrats who are at fault are not being punished, and ordinary people such as the Waria and Garaina people, continue to suffer.
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