As economic investMen’s continue to flow into Madang, police are struggling to contain the increase in crime.
As the police men and women go about their duties, there is a lingering housing problem that is eating into the morale of the members of the service.
The Kusbau Police barracks – condemned in 2006 – is still home to 10 families who don’t have much in terms of housing options.
The Kusbau is an old story. For a decade, the families of police officers living here have been appealing through the media for attention. After all those years and numerous appeals, 10 families continue to live at Kusbau because there is little else in terms of accommodation options for them.
The walls are literally falling apart, the roofs are leaking and the common toilets pose serious health risks.
Susan Ansini is the wife of a senior police officer who lives at Kusbau barracks. It took some convincing for her to appear on camera for the second time this year. For her, living in a condemned barracks with a husband fully dedicated to serving the government, is very frustrating.
Senior Constable Mathew Sengum, also lives here. The toilet he and his family use is blocked and the showers are unhygienic.
Next door, Senior constable, Michael Jinkap takes a bath under a tap outside. His house doesn’t have a shower. He has been living here since 2006.
The stories are seemingly endless. Sipa Yama and her husband repaired their condemned accommodation with bush materials. They also built a pit toilet behind the house.
In 2010, EMTV showed the plight of families living in the condemned police barracks. Today, little has changed. There is now a new provincial police commander, Syslvester Kalaut, who is still fighting the same uphill battle to get his men and women better houses.
Things are slowly improving. Seven million kina in funding has been allocated for new police housing in Madang. At the weekend, the Deputy Police commissioner, Awan Sete was in Madang to see the progress of housing maintenance in Bogia and Madang.
While changes are slowly happening, families at Kusbau say they will only believe when they see things happen.
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