Tambul-Nebilyer district in Western Highlands is placing emphasis on development of road infrastructure, according to local MP and Civil Aviation Minister Benjamin Poponawa.
These include the 17km national government-funded sealing of a 17km stretch of the Tomba-Tambul road by Dekenai Construction Ltd, which is expected to be completed by July and open up a whole new world of opportunities for Tambul people.
|Part of the 17km stretch of the Tomba-Tambul road which is being sealed by Dekenai Construction Ltd.-Pictures by MALUM NALU|
He is mindful of the new opportunities the liquefied natural gas project in neighbouring Southern Highlands will bring to his people.
Tambul already prides itself as the ‘capital’ of potatoes and other fresh vegetables, and already has some of the best services found in a rural area such as good roads, health, education, mobile phone, television, district treasury and internet connectivity.
Poponawa, however, believes that Tambul-Nebilyer can do better.
“Our major objective in the district is road infrastructure,” Poponawa told me in Tambul.
|Project signboard along the Tomba-Tambul road|
“When you have improved roads, services start flowing in such as education, health, agriculture and others.
“What we’re doing is we’re opening up every road, even feeder roads.
“This has made life much easier for all stakeholders and everyone in the district.
“Tambul is a remote district but it’s unique, in that people have access to almost everything here.”
Poponawa said health, education and law and order were other priority areas of his JDPBPC.
“All health centres are operational, are fully stacked, and supplied with fully-kitted ambulances with two-way radios,” he said.
“All educational institutions from elementary and primary schools, and technical/vocational centres are all operational.
|The well-maintained Tambul primary school|
“We have law and order problems, however, these are minimal.
“Tribal fighting has reduced greatly.
“Alcohol and drug problems are being addressed with the help of churches.
“That’s why we are pumping a lot of money into the churches.
“We try to keep peace and good order through conflict resolution.
“We encourage conflict resolution through Peace Foundation Melanesia.”
Rural electrification and water are other priority areas of the Tambul-Nebilyer JDPBPC, with plans in place to bring these to all villages.