Milne Bay

Everyday People PNG :Fiona Tom

After grade 10, Fiona stayed home for a year and in 2009 entered St. Therese Bolubolu Vocational Centre and completed two years of training.

Virgin Coconut Oil Production

Since 2019, the biannual WCD has only been celebrated in Alotau. This year's WCD theme was ‘Invest in Coconut to Save the World.’

The WCD celebrations attracted coconut growers from the four provincial districts like Alotau, Samarai Murua, Esa'ala and Kiriwina Good Enough.

According to one organizer, Milne Bay Division of Agriculture Livestock, Principal Advisor, Jonathan Kapoila, since the inaugural event, WCD celebrations in 2019 at Bubuletta, the coconut growers had improved their range of coconut products.

Video highlights climate crisis

On Ormot Island in the Morobe province, the islanders share the impacts of the shrinking islands due to the rise in sea level.

Ormat Islander Sipora Nargara said, “We are islanders. We live on fish and there is no fish where they wanted us to resettle. We are not used to life there.”

In Milne Bay, provincial disaster officer Steven Tobessa said the province has over 600 small islands and atolls. He anticipates locations for these islanders in the near future.

Cultural breakdown a factor in lawlessness: Leader

The Huhu LLG leader highlighted a lack of respect in today’s society.

When speaking of Milne Bay’s locally initiated event – the Huhu War Canoe Festival – coordinator Kaimuyoni Ila emphasised the importance of imparting cultural and traditional knowledge to the younger generation.

Ila believes this is the best way to keep youths firmly grounded in spite of Western influence.

‘Ghost’ island of Samarai

Today, the beautiful island of Samarai lies forgotten at the southern tip of the mainland.

White sandy beach and glistening, clear water will greet you as you approach Samarai, a forgotten electorate of Milne Bay that still boasts picturesque selfie spots and fantastic diving and snorkeling sites.

In the 1960s, Samarai was a busy administrative hub of Milne Bay with a port that greets vessels servicing the Tokyo, Shanghai and Brisbane routes.

Criminals better equipped: Commander

Provincial police commander, Peter Barkie, said this is the sad reality on ground.

Once synonymous with tourism, the beautiful island province of Milne Bay has been rocked with shootouts, arson, petty crimes and piracy; a nightmare for the majority of the laidback local populace.

With the new provincial police commander, Barkie, taking over the reins, his vision to restore the public’s trust in the force is hampered with a lack of logistics.

New Milne Bay PPC works on rebuilding image

The new Milne Bay Provincial Police Commander is pushing for a new-look, well-disciplined force if they are to tackle the tremendous challenge of law and order.

Peter Barkie took up the post in July and is working to restore command and control in a force that, in the past few years, has done more damage than the criminals in Alotau.

When speaking to this newsroom, PPC Barkie described the island province’s law and order situation as “out of control”.

Milne Bay establishes procurement committee

Their swearing-in ceremony was held today (21st September).

Their swearing in was also followed by Samarai-Murua District Procurement Committee’s as the second district in the Southern Region after the North Fly District.

Chief executive officer of the National Procurement Commission (NPC), Simon Bole, said the procurement process is the first step towards service delivery and provinces and districts must make it their immediate priority to get the committee fully established.

Heed weather warning, do not go to sea

He sounded this warning after two men went missing when their dinghy capsized on December 24, 2019, in the waters of Esa’ala district. This is a separate incident from another dinghy that also capsized on the same day, with only one person reported missing.

Tobesa said some of his officers have already carried out awareness in Alotau town and nearby villages, urging locals to adhere to disaster warnings.

Residents urged to act responsibly

Acting provincial police commander, George Bayagau, says he expects them to observe the law whilst celebrating.

“I will have police currently on operation to monitor the town and the province as well and if anything arises, we are prepared to deal with them according to law.”

The province, famous for its beautiful islands and peace-loving people, has been making headlines for the wrong reasons.