Monday, September 20, 2010

Omolai footbridge opening

Bulolo MP

Bulolo MP Sam Basil opening the Omolai footbridge
Being a businessman from Bulolo district I have been engaged with the people from my district since 1996 in terms of providing essential community projects such as water supply, footbridge and other donations such as sewing machines to women’s groups, coffee pulpers to community groups and sporting gear to local sporting organisations at local level government level.
Singsing towards the footbridge project site

The Omalai footbridge was originally built by Armsec’s maintenance team in 2001 just before the 2002 national elections, which I contested, and lost.
I can remember back in 2001 we opened the old Omalai footbridge with the same bamboo band style and the great local people we met.
Receiving bilums from Omalai mothers, their apreciation for the project second time around

Many little children back then in 2001 are all over eight years old or older this very day.
The original Omalai footbridge got washed out four months ago and it was very timely for me now as their local MP to take charge to get the bridge back in order.
Villagers trying out the new Omolai footbridge
The new footbridge is two metres taller than the old washed-out footbridge to avoid another wash-out.
We were welcomed by the locals and accompanied by the Mumeng LLG president Mathias Phillip and Watut LLG president Waka Daman.
Kek Riggers & Footbridges contractors packing and ready to move to the next project site.
This included the press group.
The singsing group led us to the project site followed by their one and only bamboo band.
Couldn't sit down have to eat my kaukau while watching the Omalai Bamboo Band hammering out its tunes
Band members have to hammer chords out of the soft ground to produce each chord required by the band master, armed with his flutes.
Each chord consists of five or less bamboos tuned and stringed together to produce specific chords.
I believe this style is unique to PNG among many other undiscovered musical cultures of the country.
The local pastor conducted the dedication service with prayers followed by speeches by Mumeng and Watut LLG presidents,  who supported the programme and urged the people to take care of this important investment.
The footbridge will serve over 300 people who will use it for transporting their alluvial gold, vegetables for Lae and roadside markets and also to access schools, aid posts and other essential services.
During my speech,  I  urged villagers to take care of the bridge for another eight years or so.
A sewing machine and a coffee pulper were handed out to the women's and men's group during the bridge ceremony
I reminded them that this was my second footbridge project as a person and first as an MP and would be committed to continue to come back and fix the footbridge whenever required.
A sewing machine for the Omalai women’s group and a coffee pulpers for Omalai community were presented after the footbridge ceremony.
The event finished off with some local dishes to the tune of the local bamboo band which I later joined, playing the bass chord.
Finally joined the band with the bass bamboo tubes

Mona from Morobe National Broadcasting Commission did some recordings and re-played it over Radio Morobe during the independence weekend.

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