One remote community in the highlands of Papua New Guinea will for the first time, see some form of government service reaching their community since independence.
The remote communities of East and West Kambia in the Anglimp South Waghi electorate of the new Jiwaka province have been neglected by successive governments over the years, and while civilization is just kilometres away, they still haven’t seen any evidence of development.
Last Friday was a moment of truth for the people living in the area. A ground breaking ceremony was held for a new road to be constructed to link these people to the outside world.
People who have hardly seen members of parliament and are desperate for services, wept openly as a small delegation arrived to announce the construction of a new road.
While many would take this for granted, it meant a lot to the people of East Kambia, who came covered in mud. They call themselves the forgotten people.
Elections come and go, candidates come campaigning and go, but it has been the same for the last forty years, and not one government service has reached these people.
The only service they have here is an airstrip serviced by Mission Aviation Fellowship depending on the availability of passengers. There is also a community school built through the Aus AID program years back, and an aid-post built by the Rotary Club of Australia.
Member for Anglimp South Waghi, Joe Koim, seeing the plight of these people, made a tough decision to build a road into this place even after considering the rough and rugged terrain.
He said even if it takes years, but this dream must not die. The people of Kambia must one day be able to access the outside world through good, reliable roads and not by walking for days to get to the nearest PMV stop.
He did the ground breaking ceremony at another remote location in the Gumine electorate of Simbu province.
This is the only site where a machine can be brought across via Gumine, to start work on the proposed Kambia Road.
A local contractor kindly accepted the bid to build this road. It took him 3 days to travel the 60 kilometre unwinding, unsealed, and ungravelled road – more like a track, to take the excavator from Kundiawa to the location where the ground breaking took place.
Kambia borders the Ialibu Pangia, Imbongu, Tambul Nebilyer, Gumine and Karamui Nomane electorates and for work to start on land owned by the people of Gumine, Anglimp South Waghi MP, Joe Koim had to show some form of courtesy to these people.
He committed K50,000 for various projects in this least developed section of Gumine, to show his appreciation to the locals for allowing work to start there.
Two excavators were bought and are now in the electorate. One will be based in the Nebliyer valley, starting work from there into West Kambia, while the contractor at Gumine will work towards East Kambia and the road will eventually link up these places to the outside world.
The local people are ecstatic at what this road will bring them.
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