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By Mortimer Yangharry

The Wabag District Development Authority (WDDA) has partnered with the PNG NO.1 SME Limited and the United Nations Women (UNW) to financially empower its women under the district’s Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) policy that was initially rolled out starting this year.

In a small but significant ceremony on Friday, the Wabag District Development Authority (WDDA) Chief Executive Officer Mr.John Tondop officially received the first batch of 60 Bank South Pacific cards from the Wabag BSP Branch Manager Mr.John Tomba indicating the opening of new bank accounts for 60 women from the Wabag SME Women Association.

The PNG NO.1 SME Limited was officially tasked by WDDA Chairman and Health Minister Dr Lino Tom to roll out the district’s SME policy beginning this year.

WDDA CEO John Tondop acknowledged the tireless efforts of the PNG N0.1 SME Limited in financially empowering the rural populace of the Wabag Rural LLG, Wabag Urban LLG and the Maramuni LLG that has resulted in the opening of the first 60 bank accounts that coincided with the presentation of the first 60 bank cards to the joyful mothers who were at hand to receive their bank cards.

Tondop assured all women who applied that their bank cards will be processed accordingly following the strict business guidelines in place and encouraged both men and women to work together that will financially liberate a family unit, village, community, distict, province and country as a whole.

United Nations Women Project Interlocutor Ms.Elizabeth Dominic acknowledged the leadership of second term Wabag Open MP Hon.Dr Lino Tom in financially empowering the livelihood of the rural populace through much needed financial literacy trainnings, opening up business opportunities, creating links with established financial institutions and paving a secure way forward to obtain loans and nurture their business from strength to strength on a regular basis. 

PNG NO.1 SME Limited Facilitator Mr.Zephaniah Lao confirmed that 200 individual accounts and cards from the once isolated Maramuni LLG will be distributed soon. 

With the opening of the K13 million AUSAID funded Wabag Market to take place soon, the newly constructed market will see locals bringing in their fresh produce using the more than 10 rural roads already constructed by the Wabag District Development Authority.

The WDDA has plans to buy fresh produce from the locals who and store in the K7 million cooling facilities under construction for national and international markets. 

The WDDA will also be the supplying fresh fruits and vegetables alike to the giant Pogera gold mine when it recommenced operations later this year.

The medical surgeon turned politician is determined to produce businessmen and businesswomen through agriculture as land is a valuable commodity owned by all citizens. 

Dr Lino Tom’s two principle policies are Quality Universal Education and Agriculture Based SME followed by rural road networks, rural electrification, rural housing scheme, tertiary school fee assistance, improved health services, stabilizing law and order problems and ensuring all communities have access to reliable and clean water supply with the presence of government in villages with their respective ward development committees accordingly. 

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