By Martha Louis – EMTV News – Lae
Access to basic government services is still a big problem in most remote areas of the country.
Mare village in the Huon District of Morobe province is one of those villages still struggling to access government services.
For many years, the only way Mare villagers could get to Lae was by swimming across the Wampit River.
Villagers will now no longer be cut off from basic government services.
The construction of a new bridge has been commissioned, and will connect Mare village and Wampit.
It takes about two hours to walk from Mare village to reach Wampit River, and 15 minutes to cross the river to get onto the main highway to catch a PMV bus to Lae.
Land transportation into the village is only possible during low tide.
“We usually carry our produce and other belongings and cross the river,” said David Hapora.
Mare village is one of the villages in Morobe that’supplies Lae’s main market with fresh produce.
Women and girls carry produce and cross this river to get to the other side.
“It’s difficult for us to cross during high tide. Mothers especially cannot cross the river.”
It’s also difficult for the sick and elderly who also have to cross the river to get help.
Many have died while trying to make this difficult crossing.
A villager from Mare said, “To go to town we make sure the tide is low. Mare is completely cut off from government services during high tide.”
Another villager said that many people have died while trying to make the crossing.
The new bridge construction will help save many lives.
But, for now, the people still have to swim Wara Wampit to access government services.
The only government services found in the village are Mare Elementary School, Mare Primary School, and a health centre.