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Papua New Guinea

Police Officers Living without Electricity for 18 Months Shuts Down Barracks for Three Hours

By Theckla Gunga – EMTV News, Port Moresby

At 5:30, this morning, the main gates into the Police Red Sea Barracks at Bomana, were shut as the 150 police officers and their families gathered inside.

The closure of the gates was a sign of grievance.

The officers have been living at the barracks for 18 months without electricity supply and a proper sewerage system.

For one and half years, the 150 police officers who moved into this barracks with their families have been without power supply.

While some have installed solar lights, others are using flash lights, candles or fires to cook at night.

While the lack of electricity may be a concern, the continuous leakage of raw sewerage is a health risk.

Especially in a barracks setting were children openly play on the streets.

But 18 months has passed and nothing has been done to connect electricity to the new houses.

This morning, the main gates into the barracks were shut for at least three hours.

Children and wives of police officers gathered inside, waiting for those in authority to show up and listen to their grievances.

The Red Sea Barracks was constructed in 2014 under the Police Modernisation Program at a cost of K49 million.

In 2016, the houses were completed but left vacant, due to outstanding payments by the National Government, for almost two years.

Because of this, electricity supply was not connected, and most houses were occupied without white goods.

This morning, Commander of NCD and Central Divisional Command, Donald Yamasombi met with the officers and their families and explained that the houses were not certified when the officers moved in.

However, Yamasombi said police officers needed to report for duties and the matter will be reported to the police administration team.

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