by Vasinatta Yama – EM TV, Port Moresby
Wives of police officers at the Tokam Barracks in Port Moresby are appealing to the government and police hierarchy to renovate all police houses in the barracks.
They spoke about how they have been forced to adapt to their already-deteriorated houses. Tokam Barracks was built in the mid-90s and accommodates 43 families. Its’ houses are similar to those at Geno Barracks at Badili, but despite being a small barracks, its houses are deteriorating fast, with very little maintenance work.
A police wife, Magarette Antiko and her family have been living there for over 17 years. She said much of the renovation was done on her own initiative.
Water taps from the shower rooms leak into the kitchen area, causing floorboards to decay and creating holes on the floor, ceiling and walls. Exposed live electrical wires have many mothers living in fear of their children being electrocuted.
This has forced Magarette and other wives of police officers to cook, do their laundry and even shower outside of their houses. These mothers claim that every year, they fill forms requesting for maintenance but nothing happens.
But in a recent meeting with NCD police boss Andy Bawa, the residents were assured that he will be taking this matter to the police hierarchy in their next meeting.