After the swearing-in of the Mt Hagen City Authority board, there is hope the country’s third city will see changes.
Mt Hagen, in the Western Highlands Province is one of the four centers in the country that operates under the City Authority concept.
However, for close to seven years, there was no City Authority due to the failed Local Level Government elections in 2012, which had resulted in further failed elections for many ward councillors and presidents.
And this had caused a number of issues in the city; rubbish from households and businesses were dumped everywhere in the city, turning the city into an eyesore, while also making it unhygienic for residents.
“The town is vulnerable to opportunists claiming the city premises, such as the market, and a lot of things,” said Mt Hagen Rural LLG President, Wai Rapa.
But a welcome change was witnessed yesterday, with the swearing-in of Members of the Mt Hagen City Authority.
Its members were given the green light by the implementing department of the Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs, and the Western Highlands Provincial Government, to pass laws to provide a much needed facelift to the City.
“If any issues arise, a meeting can be called, the department can come and witness it…”
“We work as a team and secure Mt Hagen City”
Western Highlands Provincial Administrator, Joseph Neng says, for the first time, the Provincial Government will support the board and will contribute human resource and ideas to build Mt Hagen City, back to its glory days.
“(We will) contribute ideas on how best we can drive the development agendas to help the Mt Hagen City Authority,” said Neng.
Local MP, William Duma supports the idea for the City Authority to pass laws, in an effort to change people’s behavior in Mt Hagen city.
Laws will be concentrated on littering, petty crime activities, garbage collection and also find ways to bring in additional income.
“Let’s forget about the past, let’s work together and make this Hagen City, a city, that we can all be proud of once again,” said Duma.
Mt Hagen Urban and Rural LLG also signed a MoU to work together to develop the town.
Lord Mayor, Jacob Michael said they will be tough on unregistered businesses operating in the city, and garbage collection work will start soon.
“If some of our funds are available, it must be released so we can make some change into the town,” said the Lord Mayor.
At present, four cities operate under City Authorities –Port Moresby, Lae, Mt Hagen and Kokopo.
By Vasinatta Yama- EM TV News, Mt Hagen