By Serah Aupong – EM TV, Port Moresby
The Morobe Block community at Nine Mile, just outside of Port Moresby, has imposed a mini curfew to ensure a safe and peaceful festive period.
The manpower behind this operation, are youth in the community who were once known for being trouble makers. This year, and in the lead up to 2015, they are hoping for change.
The Nine Mile Morobe Block got its name from the first group of settlers who settled in the area in 1992.
Since then, the population has grown to include people from other parts of the country.
Mathias Sungavi, a long time resident and the Chairman for the Law & Order committee said there is a lot of illcit drug and alcohol abuse that have gone out of hand.
Like other rapidly growing settlements in the country, law and order problems have become an issue the community needs to deal with. With the help of the police, the community has imposed a mini curfew covering the entire block.
The curfew started on the 16th of December, and will end on the 2nd of January.Their curfew hours start at 10.30pm and end at 4 am. This was done after receiving authorisation from the NCD Metropolitan Superintendent, Andy Bawa.
Youths from the area, from 14 years old and above, have volunteered to impose the curfew.
So far the operation is going as well as expected. There are a lot of challenges but the youth are coping the best they can.
“We need a lot more support and manpower. We have had some confrontations but we are pressing on,” says Andrew Gaus, one of the youth volunteers.
Atupe Bapa, Secretary for the Morobe Development Association made an appeal to the community that they should respect these volunteers because since the mini curfew is now law, offenders will be punished accordingly.
Eight arrests have been made since the operation started two weeks ago. They have back up from police units in Gordons and Boroko.
The operations have received some good feedback from the community, and it is hoped that this will continue into the New Year.