Sawmills for Sugu Valley

It’s been a year since a ceasefire agreement ended the bloody tribal conflict at Sugu Valley in Kagua-Erave District of Southern Highlands Province and locals are slowly rebuilding their lives.

The conflict, which began in 2019, involved nine tribes in Sugu Valley and led to the deaths of 30 people, the destruction of homes and businesses, and the displacement of thousands of locals.

Over the weekend the Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) presented two brand new sawmills to assist locals in the rebuilding their lives.

Sugu Valley became a war zone in 2019 after a drunken brawl among youths led to all out warfare between nine different tribes.

The conflict led to 30 deaths, the destruction of public and private properties, closure of schools, health centres and the displacement of thousands of locals.

In January 2020 a ceasefire was called between warlords and local leaders with the goal of restoring peace and to bring back normalcy to Sugu Valley.

Over the weekend, the Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) travelled to Sugu Valley to present two brand new Sawmills to rebuild homes lost during the conflict.

Both sawmills cost around K140, 000 and purchased using discretionary funds under Petroleum Resources Kutubu (PRK), through MRDC Managing Director, Augustine Mano, and Southern Highlands Governor, Willia, Powi.

East Sugu Chairman, Justin Mapi, urged the people to change their mindsets.

“Fighting is not the answer. Education, the word of God, and working the land are important,” He said.

During the ceremony youths were cautioned not to consume home brew and drugs which were factors which led to the 2019 tribal conflict.

Southern Highlands Deputy Governor, Andrew Kenoa Paua, urged youths to steer away from trouble or face the full force of the law.

Mano urged  the people of Sugu Valley were encourage to embrace peace, rebuild their lives, and live harmoniously.

“I am here to show you that there is still hope. You must never lose hope,” he said.

Cedric Patjole