Thursday, October 16, 2008

Solving the Kumalu River problem

The notorious Kumalu River which terrorises travelers along the Wau-Bulolo Highway could soon be a thing of the past.

Its fast flowing torrents are infamous for claiming lives, burying the one-thriving Mumeng government station under tonnes of rubble as well as sweeping away motor vehicles.

This is becoming a major concern, especially with the boom in mining and prospecting in the area, as well as to the livelihood of the thousands of people of the Bulolo and Menyamya electorates.

The solution is a bypass road through Buang, on to the gold fields of Bulolo and Wau, and further on to Menyamya,

Bulolo MP Sam Basil asked the National Government for funding in the recent Supplementary Budget for this bypass road and K9m of an estimated total cost of K27m has been earmarked for this purpose.

“I’m under a lot of pressure from Hidden Valley and PNG Forest Products to do something about this ongoing problem,” he said.

Landowners from five villages – Kumalu 1 and 2, Mumengtain, Bangalum and Pamelambus – have formed a company called Kumubapa Holdings to tender for the building of the road in a joint venture with Filipino company Benje.

They have met with regional works manager Brian Alois and provincial works manager Nickson Laime in Lae, to push for the release of the funds so that they could start work.

“The landowners from five villages have joined together and formed a company called Kumubapa Holdings,” Mr Basil said.

“Benje will inject the professional component and the landowners will provide the rest.

“I want active landowner participation in all projects in my electorate.

“Apart from this, there are other opportunities in Bulolo for such work, which I want the landowners to participate in.”

Mr Basil said the proposed road would run up to and cross the Buang Bridge on to Bulolo and would be rescoped from single lane to double lane to cater for the increased traffic because of the boom in mining and exploration.


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