By Leonard Fong Roka
The constraints placed on Bougainville by the crisis demanded increased ingenuity and pragmatism for the development of the region.
In the 1999 film documentary by Darren Bender and Mike Chamberlain, Coconut Revolution, the deceased Bougainville leader, Francis Ona said:
“I used to thank Papua New Guinea government for imposing blockade because if the blockade wasn’t imposed we would not be developed this far; nobody has been trained but saw natural talent thus we are developing. I think with the blockade Bougainville war is like an educational centre or furthermore, I could say, it is a university for all of us who are on Bougainville.”
In his mind were the advancements made in Bougainville during the peak of the crisis years.
These included the development of small scale hydro electricity generation, rice farming, sea water desalination, coconut oil for diesel on diesel engines, revival of herbal medicines to treat the sick and wounded, making of guns and cartridge and other activities.