The boat will make access easier for transporting goods and produce like cocoa and copra between Torokina, South Bougainville and Buka town.
The people of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB), even after 20 years after one of the bloodiest civil wars known in the history of Papua New Guinea, are still picking up rather slowly on the normalcy known throughout the country – like the tradition of celebrating Christmas.
Around 20,000 lives were lost, millions of kina worth of properties destroyed and hundreds of millions of kina in revenue lost as a result of the forced closure of the Bougainville Copper Ltd mine.
The presentation of the boat is worth celebrating as this is a major burden lifted off for these people who use the Buka passage on a daily basis.
The other side of the Island, where the main local industry and business operations are often carried out, is only accessible by boat or ferry. This often requires at least a 10-minute cross over from Mainland Buka, from Kokapau.
In attendance for the presentation was AROB president John Momis, including other members of the Bougainville Provincial Government.
During a short speech, president Momis described Bougainvilleans as “proud people who can make a contribution to liberate them from any form of bondage”.
The vessel was purchased by South Bougainville Member Timothy Masiu using his electorate’s district services improvement program (DSIP) funds.
The boat was bought from businessman Sam Tasion and christened MV Sandyrose Toroka.