While preparations are underway for this much-anticipated April 20-22 event, the recent continuous rainfall has caused several landslides on the Kundiawa-Gembogl-Bundi road.
The three major ones are landslides at Kenyaundo, Yandina and Augl near Mondia Pass, the Simbu-Madang border.
Vincent Kumura, the Director of Kumura Foundation, a local CBO of Bundi who initiated the Festival to promote tourism in the Northern Corridor of Simbu and Madang, said: “This is an important road link that connects Bundi to Simbu. The people of Upper Bundi of 10,000 population receive most of their basic government services from Simbu.
“Several cultural groups and important visitors from Simbu will be attending the Bundi Komba Festival through this road. Therefore, I am appealing to the local and provincial government authorities of Simbu, including the Works Department, to assist in fixing these landslides before the festival.”
The roadblocks have also affected many small business owners of Bundi who come into Kundiawa for supplies. The current bad state of road conditions has also been a major concern for PMV owners proving services to this remote part of PNG.
Meantime, the foundation plans on mobilising strong and agile youths of both Bundi and Simbu to work on the 20km road from Gowe to Yandera between April 5-15.
The festival is a recognised event by the National Cultural Commission of PNG and PNGTPA, hence they are calling for the funding support of the Bundi LLG President, Usino-Bundi DDA and Madang Provincial Government.
The festival is likely to attract more than 2,000 people with over 25 cultural groups from Simbu, Jimi, Asaro, Simbai and all over Bundi.
“Even more than 300 people from especially the Kundiawa-Gembogl area of Simbu are expected to attend this rare food culture festival,” stated Kumura.
“Hence, we are appealing to the Kundiawa-Gembogl DDA and Simbu Provincial Government to also support this event.
“Finally, some tourists who have booked to attend the festival have already cancelled their flights due to the coronavirus.”