By GENO NAU-BUGA
REMOTE village communities situated in the far flung corners of Obura-Wonenara and Okapa districts of Eastern Highlands province will soon have access to a better road link.
This follows a ground-breaking ceremony for work to begin on the Noraenda-Amaira road project initiated by the Member for Okapa, Bonny Oveyara.
During the ceremony last Tuesday at Barabundora community school, Mr Oveyara pointed out that during the colonial times people in these areas were serviced by a roads. However, after independence successive elected leaders have neglected the maintenance of the road causing the road to be impassible thus causing the rural people to miss out of basic government services as well as the opportunity to bring their coffee produce out to the central markets to earn an income.
The phase of work would see the clearing up of road section of Noraenda in Obura-Wonenara district to Amaira in Okapa district.
During the ceremony, Mr Oveyara deployed a bulldozer which has already begun to clear the road. It will be complimented with a back hoe and dump trucks.
"I am starting at east of Okapa at the beginning of 2010 and should end at west of Okapa by the end of 2011," he said.
Mr Oveyara pointed out that the Government focused attention on developing provinces and districts with non-renewable resources such as gold, copper and oil and has neglected those with renewable resources like coffee and other agricultural products.
Both Okapa and Obura-Wonenara districts in Eastern Highlands province are leaders in smallholder coffee production. However, over the years road conditions deteriorated and transportation difficulties forced the remote villagers to neglect their coffee gardens.
Those that continue to care for the gardens carry the produce in small sacks on their backs or string bags because of the long distances to Aiyura and Kainantu.