By MALUM NALU
Remote Kandep in Enga has the potential to become one of the leading centres in the Highlands and Papua New Guinea, says Works Minister and Imbonggu MP Francis Awesa.
He, however, told the people that the onus was now on them to change their ways of tribal fighting and work together towards developing their forgotten backwater.
Awesa laid down the message to a massive crowd of more than 10,000 people who congregated in chilling weather and heavy rain at high-altitude Kandep station last Friday to welcome Treasurer and Kandep MP Don Polye, six other senior government ministers and other MPs.
|Picturesque Kandep station with the new district administration building in the foreground.-Pictures by MALUM NALU|
He had earlier officiated at the launching of the Wasa Bridge project.
|Awesa opens the Wasa Bridge project at Kandep.|
“Kandep district is a back page in the history of this country,” he said.
“Kandep has been in the dark for 40 years.
|Part of the huge crowd of people that gathered at Kandep station to meet Polye, ministers and leaders.|
“The transformation you are seeing is because of Don Polye’s bid to lead you to the land of milk and honey.
“The road from Mendi to Kandep is almost complete.
“It has cost us about K450 million.
“It’s ongoing and will be sealed all the way from Mendi.
“It will go up to Laiagam.
“The road will not only start in Mendi and finish here.
“People from Porgera must not only go to Wabag and Mt Hagen, sometimes, they must come to Kandep.
“One of these days, Kandep will become a major town like Hagen, Kundiawa, whatever.
“One day, this road will go all the way to Porgera, Mendi, and finish in Gulf province.”
Awesa said all the government’s good intentions could be derailed if the Kandep people did not change their attitude.
“If the government is spending a lot of money in this area, why are you still fighting and living like your grandfathers?” he said.
“The government wants people to change this attitude, peace must come.
“If you continue fighting, you will put more pressure on our hospitals, schools, and all other services.
“We must stop fighting and must start changing our lifestyle.
“Health services are here, district treasury is here, roads that you have been crying about for the last 40 years are here.
“What more do you want?”
Awesa said the Wasa Bridge projecr would help to link together Enga, Hela and Southern Highlands provinces.
“This will be 300m long and will happen over the lake in Kandep,” he said.
“In terms of costs, we have already spent over K35 million.
“The ground was not stable.
“We have budgeted another K35 million for 2014.”