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By Vicky Baunke

THE continuous rainy season experienced throughout the country has yet again resulted in the flooding of the Zumin River in the Morobe Province, affecting the Mutzin section of the Highlands highway.

The Zumin river which flows down from the Finisterre Range down to Nawantmara and then to Zumin is just a few metres beside the main highway and flows past the Arifiran village down to Mutzing.

The flood has damaged the Highway and nearby communities in Arifiran (Markham) causing Traffic jam leaving passengers travelling to and out of Lae stranded on either sides along the highway as the river floods onto the main highway blocking access.

Travelling public including PMV passengers had to walk 6km to get on another bus/vehicle on the side to continue their journey while, trucks transporting store goods, fuel and other goods and services are being left stuck on either sides.

According to the Metrallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) who ate currently working on the damages to restore the Highway about 6km of the road was flooded with sand and mud which has also caused damages to the newly rehabilitated highlands highway project.

MCC a Chinese International Company specialised in Roads and Bridge Construction who is also engaged by the Department of Works (DoW) through GoPNG for the Upgrade and Rehabilitation of the Highlands Highway (SHHIP) project from Nadzab to Henganofi and based in SingSing Creek in Markham is currently on the ground and doing its best to clear the debris and divert the flood damaging the road to restore normalcy and safe passage of vehicle.

According to MCC this section of the road including other sections of the highlands highway from (Nadzab – Henganofi) will be affected even more if the rain continues, affecting those who are traveling and the transportation of goods and services.

The MCC in a statement has given its assurance to the public that the company is equipped and alert to provide the assistance needed with its specialized machinary, equipment and expertise on the ground to clear up the road and respond to landslips or disasters that may affect the flow of traffic on the road.

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