Papua New Guinea
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Governor Peter visits communities

Over the weekend, Governor Rufina Peter visited Boteka in Ward 3 and Siraka in the Vanapa Brown Local Level Government, Hiri Koiari District. She was accompanied by LLG Council President Wayne Iorive along with councillors from the respective wards.

Boteka is located on the outskirts of Port Moresby, past the Catholic Church-owned Nazareth at the turn-off before Laloki Bridge. Established in the late 1950’s this area is home to now three hundred families who have slowly migrated out of the area due to lack of the most basic services.

In welcoming Governor Peter, mistress of ceremony, Bono Nariki spoke of the hardships and crises faced by the people on a daily basis.

“Madam Governor your coming here is not a mistake, it’s ordained by God. As a women leader here in this ward, I ask that you hear our cries. All we ask for is government services like an aid post, and clean safe water to drink, as we are currently drinking wastewater from Port Moresby. Our church was established in 1961 and we still use its run-down state.

“We are so close to the city yet we are so far back in basic service delivery.”

Vanapa Brown LLG president, Wayne Iorive spoke of the hard work Governor Peter does on a daily basis in ensuring that everyone including those wards that are forgotten, is part of the Governor’s plans in moving Central Province forward.

Governor Peter in addressing those present spoke of the need for the Boteka Community to be God-oriented, to put God first in their lives and the need to reconcile with each other, reminding the people to reflect on the three key points of her Independence message:

  1. Genuine Reflection of the past 48 years,
  2. Peace & Reconciliation from past conflicts, and
  3. Development Priorities of the Provincial Government

“Your Government is here the Councilor and the LLG President. Anything that comes to my office need to go through them, instead of coming directly to my office. It must be in the ward development plans in order of priority (1-5) so Open Member and I can work together with your Ward Councilors and your President to get it done.

Following Governor Peter’s speech the Governor’s delegation along with the LLG President headed for Siraka, a place notorious for stolen cars to be hidden from the police and their owners because of the many back roads and uninhabited forests, making it an ideal location for criminal gangs.

Siraka was, established in 1963 by the people of East Kerema, Gulf Province who have lived in this harsh tropical environment bordering the hunting grounds of Papa village and the Vanapa Brown LLG, with many engaging in fishing hunting subsistence farmers as their way of earning an income.

Ward councillor Terence Farapo in speaking to the community highlighted that it is the first time any sitting MP or governor had visited Siraka and this was the time and space needed for the Governor to hear their pleas.

 A women’s representative who wished to remain anonymous called on the Governor to ensure financial literacy programs can be included in the ward development plans for Siraka since the mothers have been struggling for many years to be financially literate.