Roads crucial for Managalas people

People living atop the Managalas Plateau in Afore, Northern Province have called for government support in fixing roads to improve their livelihood.

The sealing of roads within the plateau will see improvement in the transportation of cash crops to markets for better income generation.

Kingsford Nichoi from Numba Village in Ward Five of Zone Six says he and his people have struggled for years with the current road conditions.

He said  many local produce grown is wasted as they are unable to sell due to the road conditions.

“Rot em wanpla bikpla samtin lo mipla lo plateau.

“Sapos rot I orait, we will never worry about anything bikos rot I stap, mama ken karim kumu blong em I go long maket, coffee bilong mipla go long market, peanut bilong mipla igo long market so at least we are making money.

(The road is very important for us living at the Plateau.)

(If it was alright, we will never worry about anything because mothers can carry their greens to the market, our coffee to the market, our peanut to the market so at least we are making money.)

For Numba villagers, road access is most difficult during the rainy season as vehicles do not wish to take on the muddy terrain.

This means villagers are forced to walk between four to five hours to Afore Station with their produce to find a travelling vehicle to Popondetta.

“rot tasol i mekim life blo mipla hard.”

(The roads are making our loves hard.)

The Managalas Plateau in Afore is a conservation area and is home to the largest butterfly in the world, the Alexandra Birdwing Butterfly.

The Plateau is high up in the volcanic rich south-eastern highlands of Northern Province with a population of about 20,000 people, with over 360,000 hectares of land on which they planted coffee, with intentions to move into other crops.

Cedric Patjole