Marape Tells Awi Yoto To Improve Western
Leiao Gerega | Post Courier | June 24, 2019
For almost 38 years Western province has seen no tangible development taking place despite helping the country generate millions in kina from the Tabubil mine.
The province remains one of the least developed in the country with low health status and lack of basic delivery of service to its people.
Prime Minister James Marape who visited the province on Friday to launch both the provincial and district five year development plans was implored by Governor Taboi Awi Yoto to look at the provinces needs which include;
- Creation of one or two electorate added to the province’s current three electorates;
- Uplift moratorium on the Province’s need to recruit new public servants;
- Fix issues with the province’s dividend trust account through former operations with Ok-Tedi;
- Find common ground on issues regarding WP’s major development program called the PNG sustainable development program;
- Building of a major port to export its resources;
- Request Ok-Tedi and Porgera to compensate middle and south Fly over mining waste pollution;
- Current 33 percent shares in Ok-Tedi be lifted to previous 64 percent and
- Stop fly-in and fly out of Ok Tedi workers to ensure money goes back to the people
Mr AwiYoto admits that the slow progress of development of the province was due to disunity amongst the leaders.
He assured Mr Marape that they are now ready to work together to ensure their people benefit from the money owed to them.
The 2018-2022 development plan under the theme “a new way forward” focuses on three key areas which are health, education agriculture and covers the province and its three districts in the Middle, South and North y.
“This is no easy task….everyone in this country have their own issues,” Mr Marape said while giving examples to how Buka and Lihir have fared poorly over the years despite the huge mining activities.
“Our agriculture and mining resources have been lost over the years while the people are suffering. Waigani is stealing from them and we are here now to turn things around,” Mr Marape said.
“These new work will take years but we want to direct and steer the country in the right path,” he said.
Mr Marape who travelled later to Tabubil to hear presentations from Ok-Tedi mining limited says everything will be discussed in Waigani after which they would strictly ensure monies owed to the people under various areas will be “unlocked.”
Mr AwiYoto says despite giving so much to the country the province has been failed by so many governments over the past years and is confident there is certainly a positive journey ahead.
Around 17,000 people gathered to welcome the prime minister at the Kiunga Township on Friday.
Mr Marape grew up as a child in Western province where his father was a Seventh Day Adventist pastor.