By Theckla Gunga – EM TV, Port Moresby
Locals in Western Province’s capital Daru, say their cry for a proper road network continues to fall on deaf ears.
They say road conditions have worsened to the stage where the entire island needs a full upgrade on its road network.
Kiwi Lui, a respected local who has lived in Daru for 31 years says the road conditions did not change much since his young days.
“We are currently facing problems with our roads. There are huge craters in the middle of the roads and we wonder how our members feel when they are driving around on these bumpy roads,” Kiwi said.
Daru is a small island that houses major government officers. It is the access point where the south fly people get education, health and transportation services.
Mr Lui said the road and drainage systems have not seen an upgrade since the 1980’s.
Most of the roads were constructed in the 1970’s when Daru Island became the Western Provincial Capital in the 1970s.
Most of the streets which were built in the colonial era have craters as deep as 30 centimetres.
The road condition is the same on the southern part of the island.
Karum Gaiya is a government worker and has been driving on the deteriorating road over the years, which he believes has his health.
“For 13 years I have been driving on these roads and it is very frustrating,” Gaiya said.
There have been some road works on the island. However, Daru locals say the contractors do not complete the road works, and in many cases, the road conditions are worse than they were before the roadwork.
“I feel the government should send investigators to invest the contracts that were given to the contractors who failed to complete their work.
The absence of a traffic office in Daru has seen the town lacking proper traffic signs including street names.
Locals feel that the establishment of a traffic office in Daru will minimise their traffic concerns, which they believe they encounter on a daily basis.