WHP and Jiwaka to fix major road link

The access highway connecting parts of Western Highlands and Jiwaka provinces which was cut off by the flooding Tuman River in Kindeng in 2013 will now be fixed.

Victims affected by the flooded river contributed  more than K10,000 to pay for the land for the new course of the river, while Anglimp South Wahgi MP Komun Joe Koim provided an excavator last week.

The flooding river took a new course and covered large blocks of coffee plantations, food gardens, homes and arable land in the Kindeng and cut off the Kindeng-Kondopina Highway for the last three years.

Koim hit out at the National Road Authority for failing to fix the section of highway which was washed away by the flooding river in 2013.

The MP raised concerns on the whereabouts of a National Government funding of K3.2million to the NRA to fix the damaged portion of the highway which serves parts of four districts in Jiwaka and Western Highlands provinces.

He said if a contractor was engaged to fix that road which serves thousands of people in Dei, North and  Wahgi and Jimi Districts, that vital link should have been fixed years ago.

Repair work fixing would include a 300 metres section of the damaged the road and re-directing  the Tuman River which cut a new course across the road, causing massive destruction to properties including houses, coffee plantations, food gardens and arable land. 

Those affected by the river had enough of waiting for government help and took the initiative to raise funds while MP Koim helped with the machine. The highway is a national road which comes under the NRA.

Local landowner John Tenang Okk gave his consent for his valuable traditional land for a portion of one kilometre to be excavated for the re-direction of the river but called on the National Disaster Office, Provincial and Local Governments and other relevant authorities to  help where possible.

Tenang said: “Am willing to give away my traditional land because others are suffering downstream, but by giving away my land, the river will certainly affect me. I therefore call on responsible authorities to be wary of my plight.” 

Koim said:  “We know there was funding to have this road fixed but nothing has happened. Although it’s the NRA’s responsibility, my people have been seriously affected both by the river and road and we can’t continue to ignore their plight.” Koim said.

The nightmarish existence of the locals living along the river who have spent sleepless nights living in fear of flash floods will now end, while those in Dei, North Waghi and Jimi districts will travel on the highway again, courtesy of  the local MP, Koim.

Johnny Poiya