By Leanne Jorari – EMTV News, Port Moresby
In the decades leading up to cyclone Guba, the Kikiri road was a long forgotten and neglected road. The road is one of the main arteries of the Oro province and connects the town of Popondetta to Holy Cross station and on to the Kikiri beach where people from the northern coast of the province, as far as Buna and Sanananda, can commute to their villages.
The years have not been too kind to the road, obvious wear and tear and a lack of maintenance have left the road in the disastrous state that it is in today.
In the wake of the cyclone Guba aftermath, the road was one of the few points of access to Popondetta and the rest of the province while most other coastal roads were severely obstructed. Despite this, however, the road has received little to no attention. Villagers living along the road are desperately asking the Government to seal the long neglected road.
One PMV owner describes the roads neglect as ‘stepping into a metaphorical time-machine’, wherein while the rest of the province’s infrastructure is developed and getting the attention it deserves, the Kikiri road remains undeveloped and forgotten.
The Kikiri road falls under the mandate of the Ijivitari District, represented in parliament by Richard Mesere since the 2017 elections. Formerly David Arore served as Member for Ijivitari for almost a decade.
When asked for a comment, Masere stated that the district takes the plight seriously and plans are underway to grade the road and later to seal it, however, it all boils down to finances.
Only time will tell if the road will be fixed. However, time and money isn’t a luxury that many of the villagers along this road have.