People in Garambon and Ewok of Wantoat in Markham District, now have easier access to basic services with the completion of two new footbridges. Locals faced a lot of challenges in the past with accessing basic services – some even died along the way.
The people of Garambon are situated in a terrain so rugged that access to basic services is almost not existent. A bridge made of tree trunks is what links them to the outside world, and for years it has been a life saver – at least for some; and the locals return the favor by mending the bridge every week to out stand floods.
A pastor in the area John Inikap, said many people have been carried away by the river while trying to access health and education services.
“A lot of times, we carry our coffee and sick people to and from and many have been carried away by the river. We also carry pregnant women on stretchers but the river slows us down and some have died as a result,” the pastor said.
The footbridge is funded by the Markham District Development Authority at the cost of K100, 000. The Ewok footbridge is also another which has been built at the same cost.
Markham MP, Koni Iguan, said there are six other similar bridges still under construction in the same area.
“Roads will take a long time to build and I cannot sit back and read in the news that people are dying while trying to cross rivers,” said Mr Iguan. “Therefore, I am starting with initiatives like footbridges.”
Also accompanying the Markham MP was Bulolo MP and leader of the newly launched, United Labour Party. The party leader was there to support Mr IGUAN as a fellow party member.
Meanwhile, locals are hoping such initiatives will extend to other areas such as roads and health services.
By Sharlyne Eri – EMTV News, Lae