ENB stands together

They have shown how resilient and strong we can be if we stand together.

Districts and communities in East New Britain continue to turn up with truckloads of food in support of their sister villages who are in lockdown.

PNG’s first local COVID-19 case in East New Britain has brought its people together as the true Melanesian Way was demonstrated since the case was confirmed by Prime Minister James Marape on April 6th.

The local health volunteer’s village of Barovon, in the Raluana LLG, was promptly closed off along with four surrounding villages while the entire province was put on a 21-day lockdown.

However, after the initial wave of panic subsided, East New Britons started working together, bringing in food and basic goods for the villages of Ialakua, Barovon, Vunatagia, Bitabaur and Vunamurmur.

A resident of one of the affected villages said the overwhelming show of support has given them hope and eased their fears as they leave their anxieties in God’s hands.

Health Minister Jelta Wong, who is also a local MP of Gazelle district in ENB, applauded his people from the mountains of the rural Inland-Baining, led by President Karl Baru, who brought in garden food over the weekend.

The Baining people, who are believed to be the original inhabitants of the Gazelle Peninsula, live in the most isolated part of the province.

The food supplies came from two different clans of Kasaka village, where the LLG president hails from.

In acknowledging his people, Wong said: “This is ENB looking after its own.

“We are the province that has lived through disasters that wiped out entire townships and villages. We are known for our resilience and sense of community to come back from difficult circumstances, stronger.”

Raluana LLG President, Tiolam Wawaga, said the LLG is working closely with the Kokopo district office to organise and coordinate the delivery and distribution of food ration to the respective wards.

(Inland Baining locals with their produce for the locked down villages; Pictures: ENB Alert)

Carmella Gware