The footbridge was completed in August 2023. A government-funded project under the CIC Coffee Access Road Project, the project is an investment of K529, 000.00.
Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) senior management team, Simbu provincial government officials and the local community in Omkolai witnessed the opening of the footbridge.
According to Caretaker Chief Executive Officer Steven Tumae, the footbridge will assist the Minibi-Maril people to bring their coffee from the other side of Maril River (Wara Maril) to the roadside, and to market.
He added that the bridge benefits nearby communities to cross over to access goods and services.
Representing landowners in the area, Max Maima, said many lives have been lost whilst crossing the Maril River over the years and the footbridge is a blessing to them.
Tumae said that the footbridge was previously identified under the World Bank funded PPAP Project in 2019. However, due to a lack of funding, it did not eventuate. With assistance from the national government, CIC carried on the project to ensure the footbridge was completed to assist farmers in the Bokil and Polma area where majority of coffee farmers are.
There are more than 2000 plus coffee farmers in the area with more hectares of coffee farms cultivated.