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By Gladys Kila

The Gumine District Development Authority (GDDA) has mobilised K5 million to open up the near- collapsed Gumine road that was hit hard by the recent landslip.

GDDA Chairman and MP Lucas Dawa Dekena has approved the budget before leaving for Port Moresby in an emergency meeting held over the weekend.

The K5 million is sourced from the District Services Improvement Program (DSIP). MP Dekena said that he is having dialogues with the National Government for appropriate funding support.

Gumine District Administrator Diang Kil made the announcement of the K5 million budget to the 60, 000 people of Gumine who are now being cut off from essential services for two weeks since March 13th.

Mr Kil said the funding is focused to freeing up the 35 kilometres of Gumine road stretching from Sikola in Digine, where the mega landslip occurred and buried 10 people including a pregnant mother, to Wara Sua bordering Salt-Nomane sub district of Karamui, and further extends to the western end of Yobadibole, bordering Jiwaka province.

The ring road from Gaima to Karamaril, and back to Onule in Digine is also captured.

Mr Kil said the three local level government areas of Digine, Gumine and Kumai-Bomai where the Gumine road connects are covered in the road infrastructure restoration program.

He said this week the District is sourcing through hiring of earth moving equipment of 12 excavators, five backhoes, five graders, two rollers, and four 10-cubic trucks from contractors.

The district has three excavators of which, two are deployed at Sikola and one in Wara Sua.

Mr Kil said the Works Department will do assessment, scoping and costing for the District Works unit to implement by end of this week. The program will be supervised by the Works Department and PNG Defence Force.

“MP Dawa Lucas Dekena made it clear that unnecessary claims for damages and improvement will not be entertained in this program. Defence Force will enforce this,” Mr Kil reiterated.

Administrator Kil said the recent landslips have severely affected basic accessibility of goods and services, displacing normal schools and health programs, and reducing economic activities into the third week.

The Gumine road (Nilkare Highway), a national road, serves two districts of Gumine and Salt-Nomane, and part of Jiwaka province of a total of about 100, 000 people.

“The road has slipped, sank, and split. A sad scenario for Gumine and its institutions,” Kil lamented.

Mr Kil said through the road restoration program, the opportunity is present to rehabilitate the road from Dokor from Kundiawa to Wara-Sua bordering Salt-Nomane.

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