Focus on people’s empowerment

Minister for National Planning, Richard Maru, was happy to receive Namatanai District’s Five-Year Development Plan 2018-2022, which focuses on ‘empowering people first’.

Member for Namatanai, Walter Schnaubelt, handed over the plan that charts a new course of direction for all involved in the development of the district, including all government stakeholders, civil society, churches and private sector partners.

Namatanai is one of two districts in New Ireland Province and has a population of over 110,000. In the forward of the plan, Schnaubelt said his district has consumed millions of kina over the past 40 years, being a resource rich district, however, these have not translated into improving the lives of the people who continue to lack basic services.

In summary, Namatanai District’s Five-Year Development Plan addresses the fundamental challenges of deteriorating social services and economic infrastructure. It will be targeted at:

  • Empowering our people to be economically self-reliant. This will be attained through opportunities to generate income through fresh food markets, small medium term enterprises and small holder agriculture, livestock and fisheries projects.
  • Priority attention is given to agricultural development of viable cash crop for downstream processing for local consumption and establishment of buying points in specific locations of the district and possible exports in the future.
  • Improving infrastructure and access to quality services in key sectors of health, education, law and justice and transportation.
  • Improving public utilities such as power supply, water supply, telecommunications, roads and bridges and banking services.
  • To support, improve and establish infrastructure, human resource and capacity building at the district and at local level government levels.
  • Improve support for churches, women, youth, sports and NGO’s, on activities with other economic establishments, to meaningfully participate in the district development.

Schnaubelt said his government is determined to lead and guide the District through a roadmap that can lead to progress and he urged everyone in the district to stand united as a team and work in partnership in order to see the plan implemented as envisaged.

The Five-Year Development Plan was coordinated by the Namatanai District Advisory Committee with support of the District Administration and further guided by the Department of National Planning and Monitoring.

Press release