Posts Categorized: North Bougainville

Buka town improving aesthetically

By Ishmael Palipal

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Starting with the upgrade of the drainage system in January of 2015, the current Bougainville capital of Buka has been gradually improving aesthetically. The drainage system has meant adequate waterways and residential areas during the rainy seasons.

The upgrade and the sealing of the roads and streets in the town added have also added to the polished look. Dekenai Construction did the honors of sealing the once dusty or muddy roads of the town in a project valued at K9.7 million.

The sealed roads and the drainage system has given Buka an improved town look. In the past was like a small country side town or village when there were none of these developments.

Adding to these, are the Moonray town security have been very active in their duty of keeping the town clean.

Moonray security is contracted by the town council to keep the watch to make sure that all the people in the town are mindful of their rubbish when in town. With their presence in town, the Buka town area now stays clean all day.

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The spitting of betel nut in the town area on the cement, road or on the ground around town can be penalized with a K20 on spot fine. Throwing rubbish on the wrong spot can also be fined and a refusal to pay can result in the offender being taken to the police station as authorized by the town authority.

Early every morning the security firm personnel do a cleanup of the town picking up rubbish dropped in the night, ensuring the town is clean to start the day.

To beautify the road junctions, flower gardens have erected, especially the junction at the side of the City Pharmacy building and the junction leading into the Buka General Hospital and Toyena Guest House.

Giving a bit of color to the buildings is the Digicel PNG promotional signboards and painting of buildings into their trademark red. This marketing strategy is also giving another improved look to the stores, the main market and other road side markets.

All of these improvements mentioned above a contributing to the new improved look for Buka town, though there are more improvements that the town needs such as proper building planning, town planning, sea side improvements and town landscaping and public parks.

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Tinputz school back on track 

By Benjamin Heribeths

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Tinputz High School has resumed classes and the school community is now eagerly anticipating the completion of a 4-in-1 classroom.

The school returned to its original location and resumed operations following a two month suspension of activities relating to a land dispute.

Since school moved, the arguments and disputes came to an end and parents, students, teachers and other stakeholders of the school were happy to work in an argument free area.

Students started having classes in a temporary building while waiting the new 4-in-1 classroom which is still under construction. It is expected to be completed by the end of this term.

A new Tinputz High School board of governors has also been approved by the Bougainville Education Board. The original board of governors was dismantled by the Bougainville Education Board and  parents approved the new one from the direction of the BEB and the Catholic office in Hahela.

Following a meeting of school parents on Monday 22 August 2016, the new board of governors is up and running.

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Hapepe – A celebration of Dads

By Anastasia Hagai

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From the day we are born to the day we have children of our own we learn many of life’s traits within our families from the two most important figures, who we come to know as our parents, before advancing into the real world.

As a sign of gratitude for the hardships and challenges our families go through, especially the head of the family (in this case our fathers), villages along North Bougainville practice a traditional ritual where the immediate family, particularly the children, get to appreciate the contribution of their father in raising them to where and who they have become in life.

A traditional ritual known as Hapepe is done by the immediate family along with the assistance of the mother’s extended family. It also takes quite a period of time in preparation prior to the actual event itself.

It can also be an expensive exercise to carry out with respect to the immediate as well as extended family of the mother. The actual event is scheduled for a particular date and the maternal side of the family works towards that target.

The Hapepe is held normally at the immediate family’s residence as the paternal side of the family gather to receive the gifts from the maternal side of the family. During the ceremony the children are embraced by their father and show their appreciation for him being their provider throughout their growing up.

The practice of such traditions not only unites and builds families, but also gives us the sense of belong to a family which makes us who we are and want to be in the future.

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Community stage constructed in Hahela

By Zilpah Marua

801-zilpah-bukaWhen individuals and organisation make simple changes in their behaviour they drive large scale changes that benefit people and the planet. Community development projects are done in societies based on a certain needs and to help develop communities and the way people live.   In Bougainville Island the Bank of South Pacific is also engaging in doing project to helping the community through   community development projects.

At the end of 2015 The BSP Buka Branch funded a community stages at Hahela Parish in North Bougainville. The K25,000 project was completed by the end of December; dedicated and opened on the 17th of December 2015 by the Parish Priest.

The multi-purpose stage will be used for ordinations, youth music rally, sport and schools, such as closing for Hahela Primary and Hahela Elementary School.

Chief of Hagan and Malasang stated that the building was finished on time with the help of the youths from these two places within Hahela Parish and carpenters.

During the opening of the people for the surrounding communities sure as Hagan, Malasang, the people living in Hehela, the workers from Catholic Dioceses office, the Catholic health workers (led by the administer Mr Tony Luwong), the Catholic education office, the officers from Catholic traditional health and the families and not forgetting the team from BSP Buka Branch.

It was mentioned by the BSP officer that it was their second community development project in Bougainville Island. The first one was the building of the hauswin at Kokopau town. It was purposely build to shelter the public while waiting to catch PMVs to go to various destinations and also for the people to have a break while they are going their personal business in the town.

801-bsp-stage-constructionIt was a joy for the surrounding communities and the Hehala Catholic Parish because in year gone past big occasions required the construction of temporary stages for a short time or the sometimes just build a stages for that occasion. Now they were so happy that from this community development project and the permanent stage established it will cut down the hard work that people face during special occasions.

After the dedication of the stages building there was food served and the refreshment was also prepared by the team from BSP.

Through the engagement of private, non-government and government organizations in community development will bring forward development that will engage youths and communities and bring satisfaction to individuals.

After all the master of ceremonies thanked the BSP Buka branch for funding this project and he stated that the challenge is with us the surrounding communities to look after what has been built in our areas.

Community development projects are funded by other organization, so the communities must take on the responsibility to look after it.

If a certain community has a bad reputation, organisations will not be willing to establish project in the places. To impress potential funders, we must look after the projects, because whoever is funding are certain community based project don’t want to waste their money and resources.

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Copra price rise good for local coconut farmers

By Ishmael Palipal

 

Trucks line up to sell their copra in front of Buka wharf Trucks line up to sell their copra in front of Buka wharf

The rising copra price has been welcomed by many coconut farmers from Buka Island and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville as a whole.

Copra buyers in Buka are testing different marketing techniques to get more copra sellers. The copra buyers are trying to attract customers through special prices and promotions, such as rebates to farmers by the end of the year if they provide original receipts or special prices for those who sell 30 or more copra bags.

The rising price has also resulted in long queues of cars and trucks made by local farmers carrying loads of copra from around Bougainville. The trucks and cars have being lining in front of Buka Pristine 101 copra mill gate towards the  another Buka wharf gate in front of Buka Police Station.

One coconut farmer from Malasang, Buka Island, stated that the rise in price is a relief for hard working farmers.

Copra making is one of the hardest cash crop production processes and it can take a person a person about one or two weeks of continuous work to put the coconut in for drying in the copra drier. This is a very lengthy process that many villagers go through in order to earn income.

The process of making copra starts with clearing the bush under coconut trees, if coconut trees are overgrown with bushes or grass, then the coconuts are collected into groups and they are then husked one by one. Some people go straight to breaking and removing the coconut meat inside without husking, but this also depends mostly on the size of wire used to dry the coconut meat.

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After husking the coconut skin, the next process is to break or cut open the coconut in the middle, remove water and then undertaking the laborious job of carrying the cut coconuts to the drier.

Wood must then be found to make a fire to dry the coconuts or, alternatively, many people use the previously removed coconut shell to dry their coconut.

The fire must be watched after it is lit in case fire can catch through coconut oil drifting or small leftover coconut husk. After some time the coconut on the top and bottom must be rotated to ensure it is all dried well.

This can take between two and three days depending on the amount of coconut to be dried.

After the coconuts are dried, the next part is the separating of the meat from the coconut shell. Once the shell is removed, the next and final step is to put them into copra sacks and compact them into certain kilograms, ready for sale.

I have experienced the toughness of making copra myself.  If the price is low and you are making copra, you will sweat more and earn less, but the increase in price has been good for the farmers because their hard work will be rewarded more.

One person alone cannot do all this work, it takes the effort of a whole community, unless one is very experienced.

 

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Medical supplies dwindle at Tearoki Health Centre

By Benjamin Heriberth Noibio

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The Tearoki Health Centre in the Tinputz-Taonita Constituency recently ran out of antibiotics, a concern which requires quick action.

Patients from as far as Wakunai and Kekesu travel to Tearoki Health Centre seeking better medical treatments and as result medicine stocks, especially antibiotics, are drained quickly.

“Mothers giving birth and the ongoing road accidents drain our medicine quickly,” said Sister Julie Kikis, the longest serving nurse.

Sister Julie is from Malasang on-Buka and got married in Tinputz 40 years ago, after her graduation from nursing college.

She is the longest serving nurse in Tearoki Health Centre with 40 years of work experience.

“We use Panadol and Amoxicillin most of the time,’’ she said.

“In comparison of these days with my young serving days, there is a big difference,” she continued, “today patients are coming day and night without a complete stop one single day.”

This situation challenges our young people to get enough education and help in serving the communities of Tearoki. Currently there are only 3 students observing in the clinic; these three are going back to Vunapope and Lemokot nursing colleges after completion of their observation.

They will be coming back to serve in the region after their graduation in the two institutions.

“We have only 15 staff members plus an HEO, we have 12 females and four males.” said Mrs Kikis. She says that only more young nurses will help in tackling the rising situation in Tearoki. She said that she will be serving for 41 years next year and so she might retire the following year, therefore she wants to see more nurses coming before she finishes.

“We are serving lives for the people of Tearoki and Bougainville as a whole.” she said.

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Tinputz school addresses Malaria

774-tinputz-malaria-netBy Benjamin Heriberth Noibio

Tinputz High School has donated sleeping mosquito nets to students to control the deadly disease Malaria. This is part of a prevention strategy to keep students healthy and combat infection by the malaria virus.

Malaria is a deadly disease that affects the lives of many people, with the potential to paralyse and kill if no proper treatment is sought. Most of the boarding schools across the region are trying their very best to control the ailment.

It is amongst the challenges that disturb the students learning and some schools, like Bishop Wade Secondary School, are located in swampy areas where malaria-carrying mosquito breeds where bomb holes and the mangroves provides a comfortable breeding place these culprits.

Water tanks were another option for them to breed if students fail to clean them during rainy seasons.

Mosquito nets are recommended by doctors as the most vital sleeping equipment. They come in different sizes and colours, the big ones can fit three to four heads and the smaller ones can be used by single persons. Tinputz High provided the big ones that the teachers thought would last long.

774-tinputz-malaria“These aren’t given to use as pillows, you must use them.” Principal Mr Steven Nobi said.

“You must be conscious about your health every single day,” he continued, “your health will determine your future.”

The school will diagnose the situation and the state of each student after the first donation and give the second lot at the end of term two. Other teachers apart from the Principal recommended that health is one of the most important thing we need to consider in or daily lives.

“Be mindful of what you eat, drink, and wear; be mindful of your daily decisions,” said Mr Vincent Alusi.

 

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Hagogohe businesses set to benefit as electricity project continues

By Anastasia Hagai


President Momis launches the rural electrification project back in January 2016.

In life there are many needs and wants that people tend to have either for leisure or improving their livelihood. One of the many needs in life is the access to electricity.

On the 28 January this year Pesident John Momis launched the rural electricity project at Poposoko Village, Hagogohe Constituency which was witnessed by the presence of Member for Hogogohe Robert Sawa and the local villagers.

Since the launch, the construction of the power lines by PNG Power workman has continued. In March, after two months of work, the powerlines had reached Lose Village in Hagogohe constituency.

They are very keen on the recent establishment of electricity within the constituency and it marks a new chapter in advancing the livelihood of the locals, enabling them to improve their small businesses to earn an income, as well the usage of electrical appliances to make household chores more flexible for families.

This is one step to extending and developing our province starting from the source, our villages, and in turn the whole of Autonomous region of Bougainville.

In February the people of Hagogohe were also able to celebrate the launch of a sealed road to their community, as part of the Buka ring road project.

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New hydro power project for North Bougainville

By Benjamin Heriberth Noibio

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Negotiations completed over the past weeks will see the construction of a hydroelectric power project for the northern tip of Bougainville.

The ground breaking ceremony was expected to take place in mid-March and then construction will start at the supply centre near Ramazon Bridge.

Chairman Dyson of Tearoki is a full-time negotiator and he is ensuring that preparations are under way and everything falls in line soon. Dyson has got a trade store in Bougainville Technical College; to make things happen quickly he uses his Toyota Land cruiser. He goes to Buka town frequently arranging things to start this month.

The supply centre of the hydro power will also be the residential. Only the Electricians and other staff will be residing in the supply centre and the buildings will be erected after the ground breaking ceremony.

The hydro power station will be constructed some meters up from the Ramazon Bridge, though the supply centre is located near the main highway.

“An Indian company has won the tender for constructing the hydro power, however other partnership companies will help out,” said Simon, one of the spokesmen.

“We are glad that we will at least have lights in our houses, we are sick and tired of small generators,” he continued with a smile, “power cables will cross the Buka passage and go all the way to Buka.”

Engineers of Ramazon Aggregate Company have been working on their machines to help out in the clearance of the supply site and the residential site. Ramazon River will be propelling power to all parts of north Bougainville.

The New Zealand government is funding the project and it is expected to benefit the entire northern region of Bougainville, including Wakunai, Tinputz, Buka and the west coast.

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Crowd funding campaign launched for domestic violence safe house

A collective of women in North Bougainville has turned to social media for a crowd funding campaign to continue construction of its organisational headquarters, which also acts as a safe house for women.

When completed the Hako Women’s Resource Centre will be a multifunctional space serving as an office, education centre and safe house for women escaping domestic violence.

The project is an initiative of the Hako Women’s Collective (HWC) which was formed in 2006 by the women of Hako village in the north of Buka Island to address issues related to safety, security and development in the surrounding communities.

The original plan was to build the Resource Centre at Laheitana in Tanamalo village but the organisation was unable to secure the funding that was initially made available. In 2015, a secondary site was found in Ngalkobul village and, after signing the lease, work began to refit the existing building which had been used as a mechanical workshop.

The requirement for a facility such as the Resource Centre was identified nearly a decade earlier. According to the available police statistics the constituency has the highest reported crime rate. According to HWC, this crime can largely be attributed to the lack of government and law & order services, the high rate of early school leavers and teen pregnancy and a mixture of high community expectations and lack of opportunities for young people.

As well as providing a safe house for women, the Resource Centre will provide a place for training and education programs and courses coordinated by HWC and partners, including local schools, churches, health and hospital and sports associations within the Hako Constituency.

It is also expected to eventually operate as a community library with the ability to provide basic administrative services to the community, such as printing and laminating.

The crowd funding campaign can be viewed at: https://www.gofundme.com/6ur2aces

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