The K5million Vanimo to Wutung Electricity Project is slowly taking shape as more trees are being cleared to erect poles and pull through power lines.
The 45km project is into its 1st phase with over 7km successfully completed which will see Vanimo Village (Lido Village) the 1st village to be connected with electricity by November.
“The Government wants Vanimo Village to be connected by the end of November because of the World Surfing titles. So far 7km of that has been completed, and Vanimo village will be connected,” said Ben Elisha, PPL’s project team leader.
The project comes off continuous discussion of the source of electricity for the Vanimo town. There are currently discussions with Indonesia to see part of the electricity supplied from Jayapura City. This has come under much debate but to date; there have not been any formal arrangements.
“For now, a stable transformer will be built to boost power from Vanimo to Yako Village. It will be boosted from 11, 000 kilowatts to 22, 000 kilowatts. But only permanent and semi-permanent houses will be connected, not bush material houses,” Elisha said.
Meanwhile, while the villagers are sacrificing their sago and coconut palms to have the lines pulled through, local businesses like the Phelendi Beach-Side Bangalow are welcoming this service. Owner Alex Danti expressed that once electricity is connected, it will not only have a positive impact on his business, but improve the standard of living for thousands living along the West Coast of Vanimo.
“It will help thousands. It will improve the standard of living for many, as well as people can make use of the electricity to venture into the SME sector. Like my bangalow, I will now have 24hours electricity,”
By Stanley Ove Jnr, EMTV News, Port Moresby