After one investigation and two years of intense public pressure, the face of Lae City is slowly being transformed.
Roads in places like the Malahang Backroad that had deteriorated after more than 20 years of neglect are receiving much needed attention.
In the last 24 months, dust and the never ending traffic jams have become part of life in Papua New Guinea’s biggest industrial City. While motorists and residents have complained about the long queues and pollution, nearly everyone agrees that Lae City today in a far better place now then is was in 2012.
Near Lae’s public cemetery, an area that has recorded some of the highest crime rates, concrete drains are being built for the first time.
The once pothole ridden road that runs along the PTC college, is also being transformed for the first time in more than 20 years. On this very rare occasion, the residents are pleased with the government.
But it took two years of public pressure and at least two more before that to get the government to respond.
An investigation team headed by the Chief Secretary, Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc, revealed instances of corruption and theft of public money. It also revealed that the key arm of government tasked, by law, with the supervision of road construction wasn’t involved in the rehabilitation of roads in Lae.
The investigation also revealed some of the jobs didn’t have contract documents.
Not many know that Lae City Roads are also a trial using new construction methods. The concrete specifications are being tailored by the works department to PNG’s needs.
With Morobe and Papua New Guinea’s high rainfall, concrete may be the way to go in the future.