Police officers, families affected by sewage

Conditions have taken a turn for the worse when police houses at Bomana, outside Port Moresby, started filling up with sewage.

Police officers and their families are now calling on relevant authorities to look into this issue, which has been left unresolved for over two years.

Since moving in to the Red Sea Barracks on April 2017, from the condemned Gordon’s Police Barracks, electricity, plumbing and many more issues have been affecting residents.

Families moved into the 150 houses, constructed by Red Sea Housing, before they were even completed. To date, the firm is yet to fully complete construction due to money owed to it by the Government.

As a result, police officers and their families have been affected by the unhygienic conditions brought about as a result of clogged up pipes and improper drainage.

Sewage started spilling out of the shower drain and into the bedroom of Maria Mark’s home last week, forcing them to vacate the room and move all their clothing into the living room.

“Mipla nogat outlet,” she said. “Outlet nogat so taim toilet kam ya, em rives go bek ken insait lo haus so wan wik ya, mipla had lo kuk kaikai. Mipla kisim bagarap na mipla no yusim toilet tu, mipla no waswas. Mipla wok lo sidaun autsait, kaikai bisket. (We don’t have an outlet so the waste reverses back into the house. For one week were unable to cook and eat. We are having a difficult time; we haven’t used the toilet, we haven’t showered. We sit outside and eat biscuits.)

“Ol pikinini sampla taim mipla go slipim ol lo haus blo ol femli nabaut na disla kain. So mipla laikim olsem ol bosman mas lukim disla na helpim mipla bikos ol man blo mipla go wok, mipla no stap gut. Ol tu no waswas. Sampla taim man blo mipla la go wok, ol sa karim uniform wantem go lo ofis blo ol.” (Sometimes we make our children sleepover at our families’ homes. So we want the hierarchy to look at our situation and help us because we do not live in a healthy environment when our husbands go to work. Sometimes they don’t shower, they take their uniforms with them to work [and shower there].)

At least five of the houses are badly affected, forcing residents to dig up their own drainage system, as well as build makeshift bathrooms outside.

The stench in that part of the barracks is unbearable and unhygienic. Mark has reported that one of her children had fallen ill from the unsanitary condition.

Residents of the Bomana Barracks have given relevant authorities one week to respond to their concerns before they take the next step in protest.

(Sewage flowing out of one of the houses at the Bomana Barracks)

Carmella Gware