Bridges soon for Oro Province after Cyclone Guba

FOUR (4) major bridges in Oro Province currently under construction should be completed by early next year.

The bridges were destroyed in 2007 by Cyclone Guba, which caused widespread destruction within Oro Province.

The construction of these bridges has been funded by the Australian Government.

The bridges along the Oro Bay – Kokoda highway are Eroro, Girua, Double Cross and Kumusi.

Despite the Government creating the Northern Province Restoration Authority (“NPRA”) very little was achieved due to lack of coordination and administration by both the Provincial Government/Administration and NPRA.

Upon his election as Northern Province Governor in 2012, Gary Juffa coordinated with the National Government and the Government of Australia to construct the bridges as part of the restoration work in Oro Province.

Juffa who visited the construction of the bridges this week said he was pleased to see the bridge structures taking shape.

He said it took him six months to secure paper work and knock on every door to ensure the bridges were given back to the province.

He thanked the Australian tax payers and the Australian Government for making over K30 million available to ensure his people were able to have accesses to basic services again.

Canstruct Ltd, the company engaged to build the bridges has already set up the basements of all the bridges and are now in the process of completing the decks.

Juffa also acknowledged the assistance from the National Government which has seen major infrastructure developments in the province including the upgrade of Oro Bay wharf by the PNG Port Corporation, the Girua Airport redevelopment by the National Airport Corporation and the four bridges by the Australian Government.

“These are significant infrastructure developments in Oro since independence. In fact successive governments have ignored the plight of the Oro people and with these major infrastructures, the onus is now on the provincial administration and the people to transform their way of doing things,” he said.

He said while he addresses the administrative and political issues, he wants the local people to change their attitude and start working hard to be on par with other provinces.

Juffa says after all these impact projects are fully completed, he would settle in the province and address petty administration issues which the provincial administration has carelessly ignored for years.

“While I’m trying to secure funding and address major issues at Waigani, I expect the provincial administration to carry out its duties diligently but this has hardly happened so this time,” he said.

Governor Juffa told villages along the Oro Bay-Kokoda Highway that the construction of the bridges should now allow them to bring their produce swiftly to the markets and also have easy access to other basic services such as health and education.

Local villagers along the Oro Bay – Kokoda highway have expressed gratitude at the construction of the bridges and also added that basic services would reach the people if selfless leaders were in charge of the province and Governor Juffa was a clear example of a leader who has the heart to deliver to his people.

Roderick Kanamabae