The people of Salt Nomane-Karamui yesterday had every reason to celebrate the Papua New Guinea’s 41st Independence, especially since there were access roads linking them to the rest of Simbu Province and the rest of country.
Ten Toyota Land Cruisers were filled with agricultural products such as rice, coffee , cocoa, peanuts, sago and the fastest selling cash crop in the Highlands, Betel nut.
The Karamui contingent stunned the residents of Kundiawa with what they had brought with them.
Prior to establishment of the 63 kilometer road, it cost people K450 to travel to Karamui from Kundiawa, as a passenger on a small aircraft. Additionally freight costs would see passengers pay K4.50 per kilo.
It would take near 3 days to travel on foot from Karamui to Kundiawa.
Thomas Bare, is Salt Nomane-Karamui’s longest serving Local-level Government president, having served his district for 38 years. Bare has seen the struggle of his people for many years.
He said that it had been impossible to transport their cash crops to the Provincial capital due to the high cost of travel. He said now that Kundiawa is finally accessible via road linkage, the people of Karamui are now able to earn an income from their produce.
“Karamui can produce coffee, cocoa, vanilla, sago, rice and other agricultural products. We can now show Simbu and the country what Karamui can provide,” Bare said.
The LLG President was extremely appreciative to the Simbu Province Government for making the the Karamui road development a priority.
“It has been almost 30 years, we have been waiting for the government to construct the road and on behalf of the people of Karamui, I would like to thank the Simbu Provincial Government under the leadership of Governor Noah Kool and Administrator Joe Kunda Naur,” He added.
Simbu Provincial Administrator, Joe Kunda Naur, said it had cost K6.5 million and the Simbu Provincial Government did not outsource this road development project to external contractors but used existing provincial resources and manpower.
“If we had gotten a contractor like before we would of spent millions…It just shows that you can save millions and should be an example for other provinces,” Kunda said.
There still needs to be a bridge built at Tambakul, in Karamui, to finalise the connection. Bare has asked if the Government can provide funding for its construction, thereby allowing the people of Karamui to enjoy the full benefits of the road connection.
“All we need is a bridge and I hope that the government can hear our cries and provide vital funding to allow our people to be connected with the rest of the country.”
The road will be officially opened next month and the people of Karamui are planning on bringing in fresh produce to sell to the residents of Kundiawa, the country and the world.