Posts Categorized: Buka

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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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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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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Rural electrification and water supply launched in Hagogohe

By Ishmael Palipal

ABG President Dr John Momis cutting the ribbon at the launching. Picture: New Dawn FM ABG President Dr John Momis cutting the ribbon at the launching. Picture: New Dawn FM

On 28 January 2016 the Hagogohe constituency in the Buka District witnessed the launch of the second phase of rural electrification which will service many of the people.

Electricity is one of the important services that people need in other to make their living more easy and enjoyable.

Relayed through the NBC Radio – Maus blo Sankamap, the ABG member of Hagogohe Constituency Mr Robert Hamal Sawa stated that with electricity into the community it will raise the standard of living.

“Wantaim pawa bai pipol i wokim ol gutpla haus na tu bai havim ol pipol lo generatim ol liklik reveniu kain olsem tru freza guds [with electricity, people will build better houses and can generate income through selling freezer goods etc.),” stated Mr Sawa.

The launch saw two major projects, one which is the electrification and the other the supply of water tanks to the people of Hagogohe.

Mr Sawa said that he will now concentrate on other projects such as feeder roads and foot bridges, after these two projects are fully implemented and all the community members are hooked up with electricity and water supply.

He urged the people to take ownership of the projects adding he was very happy that his people now will benefit from this high impact projects.

Present at the launch was ABG President Dr John Momis who also was happy to launch the program which is under the ABG High Impact Projects that will benefit many communities in Bougainville.

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Third CT scanner in PNG at home in Buka

By Ishmael Palipal

Mr Lindsay Hunt training radiographers at the Buka General Hospital. Photo courtesy of Bougainville News

Buka General Hospital is the proud home to one of the few computerized tomography (CT) scanners in Papua New Guinea.

Dr Cyril Imako, chief executive officer at Buka General Hospital, revealed that PNG only has three CT scanners that now serve the country’s population, the other two are located at Port Moresby General Hospital and Pacific Hospital, both in Port Moresby.

Dr Imako revealed that with this new technology, the hospital is looking to employ more professional personnel to help provide the best services for the people.

“We encourage young specialized doctors and personnel to apply, so to provide the quality and high standard care for the people,” Dr Imako stated.

“Some of us are soon retiring and we need new young vibrant officers to apply.”

The CT scanner can be used look at someone with head injuries, facial injuries, fractures, any brain injuries, to look at the tummy, chest, lumps, neck lumps, cancer in the stomach, chest or even broken joints and bones.

He also revealed that Buka General Hospital is classified as a level 4 hospital, however with this CT scanner, which will also be serving outside provinces, it will now be elevated to level five.

The CT scanner was purchased last December by Regional Member Mr Joe Lera at the cost K1.7 million under the Provincial Service Improvement Program (PSIP). It was purchased reduce the cost on people who would previously travel out of the province in need of this service, which was seen as more costly.

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K9.7 million readied for Buka water project

By Ishmael Palipal

Buka Town pictured from New Dawn FM Drone. Buka Town pictured from New Dawn FM Drone.

Situated on an Island mostly made of lime stone, Buka town has the major water problem. Since there are no running rivers to supply water from, the water is a very important service for the people of Buka Town and the near areas of Kokopau and Sohano Island and rainwater is what many people rely on in this part of Bougainville.

The Secretary of Technical Services, Bernard Tzilu, revealed that K9.7 million had now been made available for the Buka Town Water and Sanitation project while speaking at the swearing in ceremony early January.

He pledged to work closely with the new Buka Town manager, Mr Eddie Kenai, to bring more change in the town. He revealed that this is the first job that will take place with Mr Kenai as town manager.

Buka town with rain

Mr Kenai also spoke at the ceremony swore to move Buka Town forward. He said he was happy to be the new town manager and looks forward to working with professionals to see change take place in Buka town.

Buka serves as the important center Bougainville and water and sanitation is the very important high impact project that will change the face of the town.

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Craft show empowers businesswomen

623-flower-show-bukaEntrepreneurialism has been encouraged among Bougainville women at a flower and craft event held in Buka.

The Bougainvillea Flowers and Craft Show was hosted at Bel Isi Park in Buka town and ran from 17-22 August.

The theme of the show was ‘financially empowering women’ and, fittingly, women from around the region came to set up their stalls to show off and sell their creations.

A wide variety of skills and local businesses were on display at the show, including florists, dressmakers and traditional basket weavers.

This show and the others like it provide an opportunity for Bougainville’s women to promote and expand their businesses and exert their financial independence.

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