Eco-tourism project opens up opportunities for locals

An eco-tourism project for the Tawai Track in the Eastern Highlands Province has opened up job opportunities for locals in the area.

The Tawai Track is the shortest route that connects Bundi to Kongi, Asaro in Eastern Highlands and is about 15 km long.

It is the shortest route to Madang Province from EHP, ascent on both sides is pretty steep and only for experienced trackers and adventurous hikers.

The aim of this project is to promote eco-tourism and tracking activities in the Bismarck Range. 

It is an initiative of Vincent Kumura, the Digicel PNG Foundation Men of Honour and the Managing Director of the Snow Pass Eco-Lodge in Bundi.

A team of 32-men are currently working on the track including 22 from Kongi, Asaro and 10 from Bononi, Bundi with more to join the team.

Mothers and young women have volunteered in supplying garden food for the track development team.

The track clearance has been completed and the men are now focused on the actual construction of the Tawai Track.

Kumura said that the project aims to help create job earning opportunities for the poor and disadvantaged locals through a long-term sustainable project as thus to help improve their lifestyle.

He said poverty is a major cause of violence of any form therefore by creating such viable economic projects for the locals helps them to stay out of bad habits.

“This makes them feel important, valuable and content by doing something positive for their own communities.

“In doing so, this will eventually help to reduce the rate of violence in the communities,” Kumura said.

The track will be completed by the end of the year and ready for the official launching at Kongi, Asaro in 2017.

Once the track is in use, locals will be able to also work as tour guides and bag carriers for tourists that will be walking the track.

Quintina Naime