Kokoda Trail

Efogi museum curator follows in father’s footsteps

The 32-year-old father of six runs a campsite and guest house with his wife Deffy and is the curator of the local museum – all initiated by his father Siosi Laimo.

“It was my father that started all of what I have and own today. He was one of the first locals who opened the Kokoda Trail for trekkers,” recalls Siosi.

Rural Kokoda powered up

During an official handover ceremony in early November, the first of the communities – Alola, Abuari and Isurava Battlefield – received solar kits to be installed in homes, schools and health facilities.

Through the Kokoda Initiative, the Australian government is partnering with the Kokoda Track Foundation (KTF) to roll out basic solar systems to off-grid communities across the region.

Alola community leader David Soru received a solar kit, including solar panels, batteries and lights, and was thankful for the benefits solar power will bring to the remote village.

Women trek Kokoda for Femili PNG

Femili PNG is a PNG non-government organisation which helps survivors of family and sexual violence to access the services they need.

The first team of seven completed the gruelling 96 kilometre trek over 9 days from 4 to 12 September 2018. They then travelled to Lae to visit the Femili PNG case management centre which supports women, children and men who are survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual assault and child abuse.

The second team of two women were on the track and completed the walk from 1 to 8 October 2018.

Teaching duo grateful for new classroom

Despite having no formal qualifications, the Pondos were inspired to become teachers to educate and change the lives of children in their village, which is about an hour from Kokoda Station in the Sohe District of Northern Province.

When an opportunity arose in 2012 to attend a teaching course at Mamba, run by the Kokoda Track Foundation, they both jumped at the chance and applied. After graduating, the couple returned to Gorari and established a classroom made of bush materials to teach elementary school children aged five to eight years old.

New log bridges for Kokoda Trail

The crossings were at Emuni Creek near Manari village and Eora Creek adjacent to the campsite. The projects are part of a regeneration and conservation program supported by the Kokoda Initiative, a partnership between the Papua New Guinea and Australian government to protect the Kokoda Trail and surrounding areas.

Airstrips need to be operational: Governor

This is the view of Central Province Governor Robert Agarobe in his recent address to Koiari villagers during the recent reopening of the Kokoda Trail after 2 weeks of closure.

For locals to fully benefit from the spin-off from the Kokoda Trail, airstrips within Central Province must be operational. This will enable the flow of services into the remote parts of the province.

“It will take too long for road links to reach the people. Airstrips are the cheapest way,” Governor Agarobe told the people.

Kokoda Trail blocked off

The turnoff at Depo, leading to Ower’s Corner, has been blocked with empty drums and a banner announcing the closure.

The blockade, placed on Sunday (February 4), follows the lack of response from the Government in relation to grievances raised via an advertisement in one of the dailies last month (January 24, pp26).

In the advertisement, the Kokoda Track Landowners’ Task Force Committee said they have been “economically suppressed, oppressed and exploited under the Kokoda Initiative Program for the last 10 years”.

Kokoda rape suspects arrive, escorted away

Police escorted the suspects from a helicopter  that  landed at the Helifix hanger at Jackson Airport in Port Moresby amid heavy police presence.

It is believed, the three suspects will be taken to the Central CID office to undergo questioning by investigators.

The gates of the hanger area was a scene of tension as guides and operators congregated to ensure the suspects were in police custody in the capital city.

An angry crowd as well as guides and porters kept vigilance as police  moved in to escort the suspects into waiting police vehicles to be taken away.

Central Governor condemns attack of tourists

Haoda is deeply saddened and embarrassed, ashamed and angry in the manner in which these innocent, helpless and defenseless people were attacked by few senseless and lunatic people.

He urged the people of Koiari to assist police to bring these lunatics to face the law. 

“Our people and our province’s good name have been tarnished,” Haoda said in a statement.

Haoda added that the Kokoda Track Initiative Committee’s spirit to improve the track, its security and livelihood of our Koiari people has been dampened by these few people and incident.