highlands region

New banking program for Highlands region

The first-of-its-kind program has been announced by Westpac, the Pacific Financial Inclusion Program (PFIP) and the Australian Government.

Choice Wantok is a new low-cost banking option specifically developed to suit people in the Highlands, an area where most people have never been able to access even basic banking services. 

Central to Choice Wantok will be a new Innovation Hub set up at Mount Hagen, bringing the latest technology to the Highlands and allowing Westpac to test ideas and tailor its services to meet the specific needs of remote communities.

Five provinces free of CBB pest: CIC

Eastern Highlands, however, has confirmed the presence of the CBB pest in Asari and Kamaliki, as initially discovered two months ago.

In a media statement, Coffee Industry Corporation Chief Executive Officer, Charles Dambui, said the delimiting surveys will continue as part of its surveillance exercise.

“We are now into the containment stage and this will basically involve looking at short term measures to address the problem.”

New engineering design needed for Highway

Wereh said the soil structure of the roads, particularly in the Highlands region, is unstable.    

The highway, sometimes referred to as the Okuk Highway, connects the populous highlands region to the coastal areas of Morobe and Madang in the Momase Region.

Wereh told Loop PNG that a new engineering design, created to address soil movement, will limit continuous damage on the Highlands Highway during the wet season.

PNGDF, Police leave for Hela

They will join an advance team from the Highlands region, already on ground, to bring the total number of security personnel to 300.

The operation was approved by the Government based on the Security Risk Assessment Report from the Police Commissioner and will commence on Monday, January 9.

The report identified Hela as high risk due to heavy presence of unlicensed firearms, many of which are high-powered.

Sorcery related deaths rife, says magistrate

Waigani Commital Court senior Magistrate Cosmos Bidar said many times sorcery retaliation killing are committed without actual proof.

He said many who die are innocent people with no proof of practicing sorcery.

He made these comments when arraigning a Lufa man who appeared in his court room for the first time over allegations he attempted to kill two other men at Garden Hills in July.

Heavy weather causing massive destruction in the Highlands

The heavy rains in the region have also caused deadly landslides in the mountain villages with several already claiming lives, including destruction to properties like houses and food gardens.

Several unconfirmed deaths were reported in the remote parts of Enga, Southern Highlands, Hela and Western Highlands provinces.

The Highlands Highway, which coils through the region on mountain-sides and fast flowing creeks, has been hard hit with several portions being cut off from Markham Valley to Porgera in the Enga Province and Komo in the Hela Province.

Highlands region without power

This has resulted in some parts of the Highlands provinces still without power since Saturday afternoon  (Jan 30).

PNG Power told Loop PNG this morning that their technicians are still working around the clock to solve the problem.

This was due to a tree branch falling onto the Ramu/Goroka main 66 kV line during heavy rains.

The incident occurred between the towers 170 and 171 at Masumave, near Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province.

PNG Loop 5@5

 Koim accused of contempt of court


The Prime Minister’s lawyers involved in the review proceeding of NEC’s decision to abolish the Task Force Sweep are accusing Sweep chairman Sam Koim of contempt and subjudice.


Senior Simbu police officer in hiding

Parts of Highlands get good rains

 Sitango said dry soils had been watered by rains in the last three weeks in parts of Western and Southern Highlands.

Plants are starting to put up leaves and this is looking good, he said.

Sitango said some communities are making gardens, including sweet potato mounds but in small quantities due to a  lack of planting materials.

He however stated that these regrowth and new plantings would not last when the monsoon rain ends and drought returns, as predicted.


Disaster assessment team dispatched to Highlands region

National Disaster Committee (NDC) confirmed today that 1-2 million people are affected nationwide.

The team comprises of officers from the National Disaster Office, PNG Defence Force, PNG Red Cross, NARI and government departments including Works, Health and Agriculture and Livestock.

Chairman of NDC Dickson Guina said another three teams will be deployed this weekend to assess the situation on ground in Momase, New Guinea Islands and Southern region.

The teams will assess the impact of the drought, the capacity of food and water stocks and conduct awareness.