Posts Categorized: Kongara

Students held back by poor facilities at Isina’ school

By Gideon Davika

603-isina-primary-school

Isina’ Primary School in the isolated Kongara Constituency lacks facilities such as classrooms and teachers’ houses.

The few classrooms and teachers houses at this primary school were built from bush materials by parents of students who attend the school.

These classrooms are already worn and when it rains heavily classes are sometimes cancelled as water leaks into the rooms through small openings in the roof.

Few teachers agree to go there, with many refusing to go because the poor classrooms, lack of proper teaching materials and run down teachers’ houses.

Each year there are more than one hundred students enrolled at the school and it is hard for the few teachers to handle such a large number. Some teachers must teach double classes because there is a shortage of staff.

These students cross fast flowing rivers, walk through thick forest and climb steep mountains from villages that are many kilometres away from where the school is located.

The current principal of Isina’ Primary, Mr Tonoi, said that there are many bright students who attend the school, but because of poor learning facilities more than half of the students failed at grade 8. Only a few students make it to grade nine and the rest stay back at home.

He also said that if this school is improved many talented students might come out from this school to excel in high school and tertiary institutions.

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Kongara constituency needs road link

543-kongara-boyBy Gideon Davika

The Kongara Constituency in Kieta District is in what is often referred to the highlands of Bougainville. It is a remote area with no roads linkages the villages with the coastal areas.

The road system was lacking even in the pre-Bougainville Crisis era and to this day it is still a major issue facing the region.

The lack of proper roads means that people must walk up and down the steep mountains carrying heavy loads to go to and from their homes which are in jungle.

A walk up to villages deep in the jungle can take about eight hours through the rough terrain and mountains, which sometimes forces travellers to stay overnight in small bush camps along the road.

Permanent houses are built up in the jungles and it is unbelievable to see how the locals carry hardware materials to their villages in order to improve their standard of living and lifestyles.

To support themselves financially the people plant things like peanuts, pineapple and cabbages. These are then harvested and taken down to the markets at the coastal areas.

Some of the locals said that if there is a road linkage to their area they will be able to sell the produce which they grow at the main market at Arawa Town.

It is also surprising to see people from the area becoming business men and women by selling peanuts and other garden foods.

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Small scale mines operate at gold deposits throughout the region

595-gold-conveyorBy Gideon Davika

Local people in Central and South Bougainville are now discovering gold deposits in new areas outside of Panguna and the old mine at Kupe which was started by German settlers.

In the Central region newly discovered gold deposits are Dangtangnai in Kokoda Constituency, Komana in South Nasioi Constituency and Isina in Kongara Constituency.

In South Bougainville in Buin gold has been discovered at the foot of Mount Leuro in the Konnou constituency.

The local miners in most areas are using conveyors and gold washing dishes to extract the gold.

However in the Konnou one particular group from Tobago, lead by ex-combatant Damien Koige, uses hired machines to dig and make stockpiles.

In some areas, such as Komana and Isina, small scale mining has been banned due to issues such as water pollution and land disputes.

A village leader from Isina, David Dapoung, stated that washing gold has been banned in their area because the water becomes dirty every day.

“This land is our customary land,” said Mr Dapoung.

“We don’t want people to dig here and there and spoil our land which is for our future generation.”

Most of the locals in that area suggested that gold which is found on their land shouldn’t be dug but kept as their treasure.

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