By Timothy Poroda
Torokina is located on the weste coast of the main island of Bougainville and has great tourism potential due to its great beauty and historical value.
Many World War II relics remain in the area, which had previously been a base for the American forces. As a result a number of WWII weapons and munitions were left behind when the war ended.
In 2014 a joint programme was conducted which engaged Australian Defence Force personnel who were deployed on the island to conduct an operation of dismantling live munitions in the area, addressing an issue of safety for the local people and weapons disposal under the Bougainville Peace Agreement.
As many people in the region rely on farming for their survival, the threat of live WWII munitions hindered their day-to-day livelihoods in Torokina.
Following on from the programme conducted last year, the people of Torokina are looking forwards and are keen to establish a museum for the WWII relics to safely store and display artefacts.
This will help the community be safety-conscious and also, with the potential of bringing more tourists to the area, it could one day help locals venture into small scale business and eventually help boost the economy of the region.
Torokina, though one of the most remote areas of the autonomous region, is one of the Bougainville’s icons in terms of tourism industry.
The geographical location it provides what tourists are expecting to venture into. The area can be reached by a three to four hour boat ride from Buka and is also accessible by the famous Numanuma track.