Watut Struggles

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A visit to the lower Watut area of the Morobe Province by the  Morobe Governor has brought to light once again  the long standing problem of transportation  affecting  cocoa farmers.

Bad roads and long boat trips are  part of life for the people in the Watut.

The Watut  region is  one of richest in terms of the cash income that comes to the riverside population.  Cocoa  revenue going directly into the hands of  farmers and their families is about K1.2 million kina every year.

While the cash income is relatively large, the standard of living has seen minimal  improvement.  Infant and maternal mortality rates  remain high. This is largely due to  transport difficulties and the access to hospitals.

In the last six years,  Watut farmers have received a lot of international attention after winning international recognition in Paris for the quality of cocoa produced in the area.

However international attention has had minimal impact with  the chronic transportation problems that continue to plague them.

Scott Waide

is the Lae Bureau Chief and began his career with EMTV in 1997 as a News and Sports Reporter and Anchor and has been a media professional for over 19 years. Having previously worked as a Producer and Researcher for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Port Moresby Bureau, he is a recipient of multiple awards including the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union Prize in 2005 in Iran for best news feature, the Pacific Island News Association Award and the Divine Word University Media Freedom Award.

Scott Waide

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