By Benjamin Heriberth Noibio
The main road from Kokopau town in Bougainville’s north to Buin town in the south is quite bumpy and this hinders vehicles apart from the Land Cruisers that are engaged to make the journey.
The demand for other vehicles is quite low compared to Land Cruisers on the region. All the business houses in Arawa and Kokopau own Land cruisers for that reason and the number on the roads has increased.
School students from all over Bougainville never travel by bus during holidays and more than 90 percent of the students living on the mainland of Bougainville travel by land cruisers to their various places, returning when the holidays are over.
Passengers especially from Buin and Siwai need these type of vehicles due to the fact that the areas have a lot of rivers, mountains and the road is slippery most of the time.
The Leuro Range is the most treacherous leg of the trip to Buin town. It is very difficult terrain to navigate, especially for PMV buses. Only Land Cruisers are trusted to complete the without encountering problems or causing accidents.
During the visit of Prime Minister Peter O’Neil, the people of Buin and Siwai were more than happy to hear that infrastructure, mainly road sealing, was mentioned during his speech.
When the road upgrade is completed, services and vital goods will be transported safely using vehicles other than Land Cruisers.
Drivers and passengers currently trust Land Cruisers as the only vehicle that is eligible to go anywhere despite the difficulties of the environment in the area. The situation is triggering more and more land cruisers on the region with more confident drivers.
It is the only trusted vehicle in Buin and its number will surely be increase in the years to come.