Friday, July 30, 2010

Kokoda villages get building materials and medicines

THE delivery of 10 tonnes of essential materials over the next few days to Kokoda communities will reinforce the Australian government’s commitment to improve health and education and address safety issues along the track, The National reports.

The materials were being sent on several charter flights from Port Moresby to Manari, Efogi, Naduri, Kagi and Kokoda station. 

The shipment included building materials and supplies for aid posts and schools and safety cones and maintenance tools for the upkeep of airstrips, all key projects under the joint PNG and Australian governments’ Kokoda Initiative.  

“We will continue to work with the government of PNG, the Kokoda Track Authority and local communities to ensure we understand what works best for Kokoda communities and how this should be actioned,” Australian High Commissioner Ian Kemish said.

“Through this partnership, we are working together to improve the lives of local people who live along the Kokoda Track corridor, and to improve the trekking experience of those people walking the track.”

Kokoda Track Authority (KTA) chairman James Enage said the delivery of these materials would not only help to bring about further improvements to the lives of people along Kokoda but would keep the track as PNG’s top tourist draw card.

“Improvements to Owers Corner road, better maintenance at local airstrips and improved water and sanitation facilities all contribute to a better tourism product,” Enage said.

“KTA will continue to work with the governments of PNG and Australia to encourage more people to come and enjoy the unique Kokoda experience.”

Some of the materials will go into completing school buildings and aid posts partially erected over the past months in Manari, Efogi, Naduri and Kagi.

The villages also received curriculum materials for schools and medical supplies for aid posts.

Leon Sime, head of Kokoda Hospital, said the Kokoda Initiative was having a positive impact on health delivery in the area.

“The benefits are wide-ranging,” Sime said.

“From fixing the road to the hospital, which creates easier access for patients, through to more regular health patrols, all of these things are making health delivery better,” he added.

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