by Mickey Kavera – EM TV News, Port Moresby
For the people of Middle Ramu District life has been a struggle for the past 40 years. They have had to endure difficult times, traversing the Ramu river to access basic government services, which are lacking at the district headquarters in Aiom Station.
Not all, but most of the government services such as health and education remain dormant.
However, with the new roads, the people are starting to access these services at the provincial capital, with ease.
Dugout canoes and outboard motors line the banks of the Ramu river waiting to ferry passengers to their various destinations.
It’s a difficult, risky and very costly journey.
And for the people who live here, it is an everyday struggle.
Elsie Keto speaks of the daily struggles faced by women in the area.
Most of the women depend on the market to sustain themselves and other women in the villages who can’t afford the high travel cost.
She says, there is an abundance of resources that could be easily sold to sustain themselves but their biggest problem has been the road.
With the new road, it has helped ease some of their burdens. Their health centre is starting to receive assistance, which was absent in the past.
But, there is a population of uneducated youths that worries Elsie. She says, the long walking distance and burning down of the classrooms at Aiom High School has left many youths without an education.
Isaiah Don, like many youths, has welcomed the new road development but would like to their elected leader to do more.
Member for Middle Ramu, Tomscoll promised his people to address some of the problems faced in the district.
Among his many plans is too see the district become the economic hub for middle Ramu.
He encourages his people to tap into agriculture activities.
With the road comes development, and Tomscoll urged his people to be prepared to embrace the changes.
Tomscoll says that schools, health services and policing will be restored to ensure developments in the district follow smoothly.
Middle Ramu is now on the road to development but its progress depends on funding from the national government and how this funding can be used for its intended purpose.