By JOE IVAHARIA
PRESIDENT of East Kerema Rural Local Level Government, Robert Paiva has commended the National Government for introducing the District Services Improvement Program (DSIP) which is slowly seeing results going to people in rural areas.
He made the comments at Iokea village on Thursday this week while receiving for his people an ambulance and two dinghies and outboard motors which will also serve as water ambulances while also witnessing the opening of a village courthouse.
Funds for the ambulances (K170,000) and the building of the village courthouse (K26,000) were sourced through the DSIP funds by local MP, Titus Pitom Bombom who is the Member for Kerema and Chairman of the Kerema JDP&BPC. The funds are facilitated through the Office of Rural Development.
Mr Paiva, when welcoming guests which included Kerema MP Titus Bombom, ORD Deputy Director Kelly Novuru and his senior managers and staff members to Iokea village, told his people that it was a special day for them because the three levels of government; local, provincial and national, have seen the struggle the people were facing in the rural areas and were doing their best in delivering basic health services.
He said the East Kerema RLLG under his presidency is focused on doing its best to deliver basic services in health, education and law and order, however it will need the continuous support of the Provincial and National Government to fulfill the needs of the people.
Mr Paiva said that East Kerema RLLG has two health centres, two sub-health centres and two aid posts providing health services to the people.
However, these establishments do not have transport to transfer referral patients or use during emergency so East Kerema RLLG decided to provide an ambulance to Moru Health Centre to serve the people of Iokea, Miaru, Lese Avihara, Lese Kovora and the five villages of Sepoe.
The RLLG has provided a river ambulance for villages in Popo ward and a sea ambulance for villages in Sepoe ward.
However, the existing health facilities are not enough.
“I call on the Gulf Provincial Government to consider putting up aid posts at Popo, Sepoe and Lelefiru council wards,” Mr Paiva said.
He because these wards do not have health services, the people of Lelefiru have to travel to Koaru health centre. The people of Popo villages have to paddle to Kapure bridge to get on the first vehicle to Lese Oalai sub health centre, Terapo Health Centre or Malalaua Health Center for services while people of Sepoe village travel to Moru health centre.
“These are sad situations and I ask the Gulf Provincial Government to consider my request to put an aid post each for the people of Lelefiru, Popo and the five villages of Sepoe.
At the opening of the courthouse, Mr Paiva said village court officials within the province and in the country play a very important role in maintaining law and order at the grass root level where the bulk of the population is.
“However, nobody cares about the hardships and the struggle they face in executing their duties and responsibilities,” Mr Paiva said.
He said village court officials do not have transport and proper venues to hear their cases.
“These are some of the realities faced by the village courts in Gulf province and the nation,” Mr Paiva said.
“That is why I decided to provide my council ward a court building, a place where the village court officials can hear cases and conduct all matters relating to law and order within the community.”
He said during his term as councilor for Iokea Ward and President of East Kerema Rural LLG, he will continue to fight for what is due to the people.