War trail opens up opportunities for locals

The rediscovered Kapa Kapa War Trail opens up opportunities for the local villagers along the track.

There are about 20 villages along the 220 km trail that runs from Gabagaba in Central Province, across the rugged Owen Stanley Range to the north side of the Peninsula in Northern Province. 

The villages include Arapara, Jaure, Natunga, Kovio, Laruni, Nepeana, Barumbila and Bofu.

Experienced trekker Peter Gamgee said the trail, used during World War 2, now provides opportunities for the locals after it was recently rediscovered.

Gamgee had mapped out the trail in 2011 when he was one of the first to complete the track alongside his son.

They had the opportunity to meet the locals and learn more about their cultures.

“There’re some really good communities who are in need of development and government services.”

Gamgee is currently on a 17 days journey walking the trail accompanying five foreign trekkers who came from Australia, Belgium and Scotland.

He said trekking is very good for the communities along the way to have a sustainable income from this sort of touring and trekking business.

Gamgee stressed that trekking activities will provide employment for the locals in terms of providing accommodation, food and tours.

“The trekkers will have to pay them for accommodation and food which helps the villagers earn little income.

“Hopefully this also helps them from the cultural point of view as we make sure to respect their culture.

“This should encourage the youths to remember their history and culture and present that to the trekkers along the trail,” he said.

Gamgee added that this makes it a different journey from Kokoda Track in that respect as we get much closer to communities.

Picture courtesy of www.outsideonline.com

Quintina Naime