Local company works to improve copra quality

By Ishmael Palipal

Officers from KIK and DPI with Tambolema Copra Exporters conducting awareness on the best ways of producing Export Quality Copra in NumaNuma, Wakunai. Photo courtesy of New Dawn FM Officers from KIK and DPI with Tambolema Copra Exporters conducting awareness on the best ways of producing Export Quality Copra in NumaNuma, Wakunai. Photo courtesy of New Dawn FM

Copra is the backbone of many Bougainvilleans, a commodity that has been financing majority of the population that lives along the flatlands, especially the coastlines of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Many of the local farmers, however, have not had the knowledge to properly prepare copra to the quality required for international exports.

To help them achieve that, a local company, Tambolema Copra Exports, has recently been carrying out awareness throughout the region.

The company is the first local copra exporter that is carrying out awareness, workshops and training to the locals, with the aim of organizing and supporting these local suppliers to produce best quality products.

Copra is AROB’s backbone. Pictured are boat loads of copra waiting to be loaded onto a truck. Copra is AROB’s backbone. Pictured are boat loads of copra waiting to be loaded onto a truck.

The company apart from trainings also aims to support improve the local copra dryers, so that high quality can be achieved.

The company support to the locals especially from the Central Bougainville was commended by many locals who were privileged to attend these trainings or workshops that was conducted in partnership with the Department of Primary Industry (DPI) and Kokonas Indastri Koporetion (KIK).

KIK is a regulating body that makes sure exporters maintain top quality and quantity for exporting to overseas buyers. It works in support of Tambolema Copra Exporters in order to help the locals.

Tambolema also is up-skilling the locals because they believe that with the improve quality of dried copra, the quality export overseas will benefit the people and support the economic recovery program of the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

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Physios help to keep Bougainville fit & healthy

By Anastasia Hagai

Photo: Volunteer Service Abroad (New Zealand).

Physiotherapy is one of the many health care professions that focuses on the treatment of disabilities and injuries. A physiotherapist plays a vital role within a medical team in providing overall health for a patient.

These healthcare professionals are able to diagnose and provide treatment for a wide range of age groups starting from as young as infants to the elderly with a variety of conditions that limits their participation in society on a daily basis.

The impairments may be categorised further into neurological, cardio-respiratory, orthopaedic, paediatric and sports.

Physiotherapy is practiced within communities through a program known as community based rehabilitation. This is guided with a  theme of changing the perspective of society by promoting awareness of health status of our societies as well as the safety of its population by preventing impairments occurring as a result of trauma, diet and hygiene.

Physiotherapy services often partner with social care and education organisation to attain the best results for each and every individual living with some sort of impairment.

Many today in Bougainville neglect their own health and that of the society and province as a whole.

We have developed an attitude so solid, practiced for a very long time, a lifestyle in which we do not yet realize the negative effects it may have in our societies in the near future and the consequences we can face as a result of our negligence towards living such lifestyles.

A more healthy way of life can build up to creating a society with a healthy population whose fitness and health levels can be improved through physiotherapy in our day to day lives.

As we would also like to promote that a healthy and physically fit individual will perform to the maximum of his or her ability for their families and for a better Bougainville.

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New transport service emerges in Buka

By Ishmael Palipal

811-buka-transport-service Alex sitting on his wheel barrow named Lala Trans (meaning Walkabout Trans) while waiting for his customers. Picture: Ishmael Palipal

Alex, a young man from Haku in the North Bougainville, and his colleague have been servicing the people of Buka town with their wheel barrow transport service to moving goods from one location to another.

This recently evolving transport system, in which a wheelbarrow is used to taxi goods around the town from place to place, is mostly helpful to the mothers who are trying to bring their market products from the boat stop to the market and back.

“Many of the mothers have been commenting that this type of service has been so helpful in terms of transporting heavy goods a short distance,” said Alex, the young driver of Lala Trans.

According Alex, the trend was first introduced by a man from Madang to his friends and has gradually gained popularity in Buka, since many mothers have to carry very heavy loads of market products such as bags of sweet potatoes, yams, taros, coconuts, vegetables or even betel nut to the market in town.

Since the service is cheap to run, because it needs only man power to move the wheelbarrow from place to place, the profit is good.

“Mi save wokim araun K70 – K100 lo wanpla dei (I do about K70 – K100 per day),” told Alex, “but it all depends of the number of cargo we transport in a day.”

“We charge according to the weight of the cargo.

“For instance, goods like bale rice or bag sweet potatoes most of us charge for K2 and other lighter goods such as noodles or light vegetables we charge K1.”

Alex stated that when he saves up properly, within 10 days he makes about more K500 and that is good money for him.

The challenge that many of his colleagues face when providing this service is the management of their incomes. He commented that since this service is provided by young people, many of them do not save up well because the money is used for activities such as drinking on weekends.

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Team AROB gears up for PNG Games

By Ishmael Palipal

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Team Autonomous Region of Bougainville has begun its preparations for the 2016 Papua New Guinea Games, which will be held from 24 November in West New Britain.

In 2014, Team AROB came fourth in the 6th PNG Games that were held in Lae, Morobe Province. It was one of the biggest achievements from the region has ever seen since the end of the civil war.

Without proper sporting equipment and facilities, placing fourth out of 22 provinces was a great result for Bougainville.

This year, Team AROB is confidently looking forward to push the ceiling a little higher in Kimbe Town, West New Britain.

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In preparation for the event, sports committees have been recently holding selections in Buka and Arawa Town.

Last week Buka hosted boxing and kick boxing selections at Buka Town, while in Arawa there were soccer and field tracks selections.

One of the gold medalists from the last games, a kickboxer, stated that he is confident that he will go for gold this coming PNG Games. He also stated that his colleagues also have that positive feeling about this upcoming event.

They are looking forward to bringing more gold home for the region.

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Former Konnou fighters apologise to President for road block incident

By Benjamin Heriberth Noibio

A reconciliation was held last week as an apology to President John Momis by some former combatants from Konnou, for an incident that occurred at the beginning of 2016.

The incident started from Buin town when Jerry Iroa of Oria village, Konnou Constituency, had a conflict with several people of Ibirai village near Buin.

Jerry, a local business man who owns a store in Buin and a service station near the junction of the Buin main market, was threatened as a result of a serious conflict with several others from Ibirai

In reaction some people from Oria imposed a road block at the junction of Oria road. The blockade was serious and several highway cars were turned back by the former WILMO fighters of the Konnou Crisis, as they attempted to force a reconciliation with Mr Iroa.

Dr John Momis at the same time was traveling to Buka while these people were conducting the road block and was a victim of the same treatment. They mistakenly turned the vehicle with the president back to Buin town.

After several hours they were informed that they just turned the President back to Buin. By the time it was too late for them to apologise and let him to continue his journey.

The Member for Konnou, Hon. Willie Masiu, helped the people of Oria and arranged a time for a reconciliation to take place.

Masiu arranged vehicles that brought the representatives of Oria including the chiefs to Morou, the small village of Dr Momis, near Turiboiru Catholic Parish.

The people of Oria, along with their member, presented a pig as a show of respect and apologised for the incident.

Chief Konkai stated that the pig shows an apology in a customary manner. He reiterated that the act must not be repeated in the future.

In addition to the President, Hon. Willie Masiu and Chief Konkai, the reconciliation was also attended by Jacob Toke and other constituency members of Bouganiville.

 

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Bougainville’s unique house styles

By Gideon Davika

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House building is one the skill that is abided by in the cultures and customs in Bougainville that young boys must possess as they grow up.

One typical style has high posts and the features of it will signify or differentiate it from many bush material family houses in the villages.

These houses are built are materials such as sawn timber or timber that is sharpened with knife from certain trees found in the forest.

The roofs are made from sago leaves with broom sticks removed from the spine of the leaf itself.

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The walls are weaved in patterns from bamboo that has been smashed with small axes.

In the past, traditional houses were built in a simplest way from the materials available from the bush. Presently, houses can be constructed using the latest carpentry techniques that young Bougainvilleans attain from attending vocational schools or technical colleges.

They build stylish bush material houses which stand out in the communities and often combine traditional and modern methods of building houses.

Bougainville’s modern bush material houses are an attraction for many outside visitors to Bougainville.

 

 

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Lera funds tuition fees

822-lera-assistanceBy Pauline Karalus

Tuition fees have been sky rocketing for the past few years and it has been a great burden for single parents trying to put their children through higher institutions within the nation.

Even for working class people is still remains part of the burden brought out about by rental fees and power bills.

Education, which is a highly compulsory for young Bougainvillian elites, is left unconsidered and insignificant for many local people as the fees are unaffordable.

Most of these elites end up in the villages or urban centers raising funds to support themselves.

There are outstanding politicians who do have a heart for the future of Bougainville and are doing everything they can to send the unlucky batch institutions they have been selected to.

Hon. Joe Lera MP is one of these significant leaders who had been such a great help to both the parents and students who really needed such funds. He continues to supports students who need financial support each year.

Students who need financial help apply for tuition fee assistance at the beginning of each academic year. A notice is put out for the general public and it is then individual matter to make an attempt in applying for tuition fees. This indirectly molds individuals to take ownership and responsibility over their education.

An attachment of the latest transcript or certificate of attainment as evidence that a particular student is already in an institution or has just finished from secondary school is dropped in at the respective office in between the due date the committee holds a meeting. The committee then selects the students eligible to be assisted as requested in individual letters included in the requirements package.

Great joy filled the hearts of parents of those whose names appeared on the approved assistance funding list that came out in mid-June.

Mr Lera again has done so much for the people of his beloved province. The list indicated each student was supported with an amount of K3000 which is very appreciated by those who have been struggling all along.

Each institution had a list of its students who applied for assistance and have been approved to be assisted with the amount indicated on the paper. Divine Word University alone had 22 of its students who applied and were accepted.

Words cannot express how glad these students are. Most of them are self-sponsored students and according to statements from one of these students they still have outstanding fees and this fund payment will pay off this debt. There is no need to stress over incomplete school fees anymore.

A great thanks to Hon. Joe Lera MP for such a relief. Without him most of these young people would find great difficulties in focusing on their studies.

 

 

 

 

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Tinputz High School suspended after principal is robbed

By Benjamin Heriberth Noibio

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Tinputz High School located in the Tinputz-Taonita constituency went on a two-week suspension in June. The closure at the newly established school came as a result of the lack of Tuition Fee Free (TFF) support from the Department of Education.

There were other schools in Bougainville that experienced the same problem, but it was particularly concerning at Tinputz High as it seeks to become a fixture in the community.

It has been a rocky beginning for the new school and apart from the TFF dispute, there has been division over land between the chairman and the principal.

There were options after the two-week suspension. The first option was for teachers to move out to other schools or, alternatively, they could stay and start it in a different location.

The student leaders of the school argued last week that the people of Tinputz talk a lot and does not put into practice. They said that the people must think about their education and not bring other issues in to it, because they are the ones who were fully affected at the end of the day.

Just before the suspension some people from the village broke into the principal’s house and stole his belongings. Teachers told the ducation office in Buka that the people of Tinputz either don’t want the new Tinnputz High School or do not want the teachers or their children to get educated.

After the incident, Principal Steven Nobi, went to the education office and the office authorised him to go on suspension while awaiting these problems to get solved.

A formal letter explaining the situation and the reasons was accepted by the office and Tunputz High school went on suspension.

“I feel sorry for the students,” said Mr Vincent Alusi, speaking to the teachers, “but the situation which is beyond our control lead us this way.”

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Supply and quality drive cocoa price fluctuations in Buin

By Benjamin Heriberth Noibio

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Fluctuating cocoa prices are creating uncertainty amongst farmers in Buin District.

Buin is the widest part of Bougainville Island and most of the cocoa trees and plantations om autonomous region were found in this area.

About a month ago the price of cocoa in Buin spiked, rising from K400/bag to K600/bag, causing local farmers to earn a good amount of money and see a significant outcome of their hard work.

The two main cocoa buyers in Buin are Bernard Kepa, a local business man, and Agmark, the oldest cocoa buyer. With a notable increase in supply of cocoa, the two buyers have lowered their prices, first to K500/bag then K490/bag, which upset farmers throughout Buin.

Farmers are now worried and some have hesitated to bring dried cocoa beans to Buin and instead are loading trucks destined for Arawa, where they hope to find a higher price.

In Arawa, the current price is K535/bag and farmers have rushed all the way from Buin to sell their cocoa bags.

The most affected farmers were from the mountains of Buin, who are the most recent to start drying cocoa as they have a later season. The season starts from the coast and then reaches the mountains last. Farmers from the mountains were just about to sell their first dried bags, but the price drop has left them fuming.

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“The drop in the price may have couple of reasons,” said Konnou Council of Elders chairman Mr Masiu.

Mr Masiu stated that the cocoa sheds in Buin were full last week and they are booking personal houses to store the bags; that might be one of the reasons.

The buyers may also have dropped their prices to reflect a lack of quality in the cocoa market.

The two major cocoa byers have advised local farmers to sell their best quality product to maintain the price. Low quality cocoa beans may cause inconvenience, which makes the product less valuable to the buyers.

 

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Bougainville girls in Madang embrace the semester break

By Pauline Karalus

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After sleepless nights of revision and stress leading in to two weeks of semester one examinations, the Bougainville students at Divine Word University students welcomed their two-week semester break.

While students from nearby such as Morobe and the Highlands region provinces without hesitation hitch bus rides home to their loved ones, Bougainville seems miles away and way too expensive for Bougainville students to grab a ticket and being home for just two weeks would be a waste of precious money.

Students stay back on campus and are responsible for finding ways to get themselves busy and entertained during the weeks where the campus looks deserted and lifeless.

For this semester break the students are fortunate to have an entertainer around, Sr Stephanie, who hails from Siwai District in the South Bougainville and had been with the Holy Spirit Sisters Congregation. Sr Stephanie soon found holiday chores for these beautiful black angels to get them motivated and have a fun-filled holiday, apart from the normal routines of sleeping, eating and individual or group movie marathons.

Sr Stephanie has a close relationship with the Bougainvillian students, especially the girls. She is our motivator who encourages us to focus on our studies and in addition to always maintain our daily prayer lives.

She once told us about a vegetable project she was thinking of starting on a small piece of land next to the sister’s convent. Bombarded with school work we have never had the time to lend Sr Stephanie a helping hand.

One Saturday morning, we spread out over the little area she wants to cultivate vegetables on and cleared the place up. Sr Stephanie allowed us to use their grass knives and also provided refreshments during the two hours work. Starting at 8:00 am we worked till 10:00 and by then the whole area was cleared the way she wanted it.

The entire two hours’ work was all fun-filled and enjoyable for everyone of us, as phone cameras went flashing upon individual or group poses with hands and legs covered in dirt from working. This was a significant entrance into the arena of upcoming semester work activities for us as holiday makers here in the campus.

As a token of appreciation Sr Stephanie invited us for an early lunch with her in the Convent kitchen. With a friendly Sr around most of us have now had the chance to see the inside of the convent. Sr Stephanie prepared delicious foods which did a great job filling our empty stomachs after a morning without breakfast.

The food was delicious and we all enjoyed it together with the laughter brought about from funny jokes and teasing. Opened and closed with a word of prayer from two of the girls from the group thanked the good Lord for such wonderful happenings that brings us joy. We started our semester break just great and we look forward to a more fun-filled semester break with Sr Stephanie’s presence.

 

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