Henganofi District in the Eastern Highlands has bought road construction machinery with district funds to build its own roads.
This move comes after the people demanded road rehabilitation, after 15 years of watching successive contractors’ fail to use money allocated to fix the roads.
Henganofi district in the Eastern Highlands is mountainous, the valleys and it rivers are home to an estimated 40,000 people.
Its terrain is rugged, with rainfall always consistent. This part of Papua New Guinea sits just a few degrees away from the centre.
It is only accessible by roads, but for the last 15 years or more the roads have not been improved.
Nelson Naveo is a driver who spent most of his life carrying passengers along the Kuzahapa road. He has witnessed the roads deteriorate for the last 15 years or so and now it’s recent restoration.
“It took me six hours travel along the Kuzahapa road,” he says.
Misen Bahutave is a coffee farmer who says as a cash crop, coffee exports have suffered due to the state of the roads in the past years.
In those years when vehicles couldn’t transport coffee bags to Goroka many coffee gardens were abandoned.
Joanne Morgan speaks for the mothers who carried cargo on their backs and walked over 20 kilometers to get to their hamlets.
“We walk long distances with cargo… now we are privileged to have this road,” she says.
A local contractor has rehabilitated the Kuzahupa road, but for another road, Dunatina,
Member for Henganofi, Robert Artiyafa, a former Provincial Works Manger, used district funds to buy machinery to fix the road.
He is now calling on the Government to give authority, back to district administrations to fix their own roads.
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