Thirty-four years of mining at the giant Ok Tedi mine but the people of Western Province are still waiting to see the promised benefits
The National aka The Loggers Times | January 28, 2019
Western Governor Taboi Awi Yoto says his province still lags behind other provinces in terms of development, despite 34 years of Ok Tedi mining operations.
Yoto said this when he presented its K308 million 2019 appropriation budget to Treasurer Charles Abel in Port Moresby on Thursday.
“There are no major road networks to connect rural areas to urban areas,” he said.
“My people are still walking long distances, paddling along rivers and swamps to reach the nearest service centres to get medical treatment, attend schools or sell their products at the local market.”
Yoto said the Western Province Development Strategy (2018-22) focused on healthy and educated people with food on the table and income in their pockets.
The Western appropriation budget of K308,050,800 expects K210,831,100 million from National Government grant allocation.
Yoto said the provincial government, through its internal revenue collection, was expected to collect about K97,219,700.
Provincial headquarters will get K171,049,100, South Fly K41,993,900, Middle Fly K49,435, 900, and North Fly K45,571,900.
“The criteria for budget allocation was based on current development and service delivery issues and challenges that confront the lives of over 211,000 people living in rural areas and urban centres across Western,” Yoto said.
Enabling infrastructure got the biggest slice of the budget with K50,764,100 (31 per cent) allocated.
This was followed by education with K36,691,400 (22 per cent)
The health sector was allocated K29,607,000 (18 per cent) while governance sector was allocated K23,372,200 million (14 per cent).