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Submitted by Kingsley on
So you came and saw and exposed such a debiliated a situation right under the nose of PNG governments at all level and the international donor community. The situation you have observed and described is close to perfection. To me what you have observed are the direct outcomes of two factors: (i) Aside from weak political leadership and unbearable administrative incapacities at the provincial level (Gulf), I think it was a gross oversight on the part of the national planners and the Department of Works in the lead up to the JBIC loan funded Bereina-Malalaua Transnational Highway. The planners and the responsible technical Department should have known that the road they were going to construct will ultimately link up with the already existing Malalau-Kerema road. Given that the Kerema-Malalaua Road was built for light weight (small size) and few vehicles (frequency), the opening up of the Bereina-Malalaua road will have a lot of negative implications on it as the frequency of vehicle movements and the number of vehicles increases. The result: the 67 plus kilometer road became impassable and eventually covered by bush. (ii) It is great news and relief to the people of Gulf for the World Bank to help in reconstructing the road to all wealther status after many lives have been lost in the sea. Yet, I must say that the Bank would not have considered favorably for the inclusion of Gulf Province in the Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program had the PNG Sustainable Development Program did not make it as a condition to its contribution of K26 million in counterpart funding arrangement on behalf of the PNG Government. Aid is largely a humanitarian concept which means it is supposed target at where poverty is at its highest of which Kerema being one. But all donors in PNG always prefer areas or provinces where their aid can be absorbed or drawdown at record time. This is the reason why few advanced provinces in PNG have larger percentage of donor concentration with rest especially the most backward provinces being almost forgotten. For those who believe that aid funds do not triggle down to provincial level due to deviation of those funds by PNG Government I recommend you to erase it from your mindset because donors are in control of their own money and not the PNG Government. if there are corruption with aid funds, then that corruption occurs in the donor's own court. PNG receives significant level of aid funds every year. If only aid is used on humanitarian grounds, most of these social ills could have been addressed effectively but aid focus is far removed from that approach. Hence, the social ills are here to stay despite growing level of aid. Over to you all....