By CENARPATI CENARPATI
NEW roads would soon be built for the Middle Ramu people of Madang province.
Known as one of the least developed areas in Madang province, the electorate is soon to be disturbed with noise of bulldozers clearing roads for the more than 50, 000 people who have been neglected since independence.
The revival of the electorate comes soon after local MP and Fisheries Minister Ben Semri spent K4.1 million from the District Services Improvement Program (DSIP) grant to buy new machines to built new roads for the district.
People in this area have toughed it out over the years travelling in motorised dugout canoes or dinghies down the Ramu River to Ramu River to Bogia base camp or upstream to Usino to catch the PMVs headed for Madang.
Whichever route they followed, the tiring journey takes one day to reach Madang town and the travels were very expensive with the route to Usino and Madang about K90 while the route through Bogia base camp is over K100 with an extra K5 charged for freight.
With more than 500 villages situated along the Ramu River, these people grow cocoa for cash crops and contribute to the province's purse with more than 70 per cent of cocoa.
They also grow coffee which is sold in Western Highlands province by air onboard the Missionary Aviation Fellowship (MAF) aircraft or Islands Pacific for almost K150 because it costs more than K300 by air to Madang.
They also sell betel nut, fresh garden produces and timber, but most of their cash crops get damaged while being transported because of the weather and the distance involved in their travel.
But there is good news for the people after their local MP purchased two excavators, wheel loader, roller, grader, two dozers and a backhoe with more machines yet to come.
Apart from the machines for the roads, the Middle Ramu Joint District Planning and Budget Priority Committee has allocated K4.1 million towards maintenance of all schools in the district.