PNGDEV NEWS CONTENTS:
MEDIA WATCH | HEALTH UP-DATE | JUST A THOUGHT | FROM THE MEMBERS |LINK OF THE WEEK | ATPROJECTS NEWS | POSITIONS VACANT | NOTICES |EVENTS | VIEWPOINT| TECHNOLOGY UPDATE | FROM THE BUSH | WEEKLY FEATURE | WEB SITE ADDRESSES | SPECIAL NOTICES
Started in 2000, and is one of PNG’s oldest development newsletters. PNGDEV NEWS now has a circulation of 1,092 members, with an estimated readership of 4,368. ATprojects Inc. funds this newsletter so if you wish to support PNGDEV NEWS any contribution would be most welcome. Contributions can be sent to PNGDEV NEWS, PO Box 660, Goroka, and Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea.
MEDIA WATCH |
OFFICIAL: NO CLEAR PLAN ON WASH TARGET
The country will miss its medium development goal targets for water and sanitation this year because there is no clear strategic plan on how it can be achieved, an official says. Acting planning and monitoring Secretary Hakaua Harry said Cabinet had instructed the PNG Water Board (now Water PNG) to develop a national water policy but that was not carried out. The National Planning and Monitoring Department was then directed to chair a multi-agency task-force to carry it out. She said because of the lack of a strategic plan, more people were without access to water and sanitation. Access rates are the lowest in the Pacific region – below 50 per cent for both water and sanitation resulting in very poor WaSH health-related statistics. “PNG is off track to meet its WaSH existing targets representing a significant obstacle to becoming placed in the top 50 ranked human development index countries,” she said. | Source: National, 27th Feb, 2015
BOOMING POPULATION INCREASE IS A GROWING CHALLENGE TO PNG | By Alois Bai The rapid growth of Papua New Guinea’s population over recent decades is unprecedented and is receiving increasing recognition on the international development agenda. The PNG population is expected to exceed 10 million by 2020 at the current birthrate 2.7% a year, the highest of the six countries in Oceania. Countries with high fertility and population growth rates typically have high unmet needs for modern contraception, a fact that contributes significantly to population growth. Women who need modern contraception and don’t have access to it account for 79% of unintended pregnancies in developing countries. Voluntary family planning programs are critical due to the importance of universal access to contraceptive services for women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. Family planning has many benefits and cost-saving effects. It enables women to exercise choice and control over their fertility while facilitating reductions in fertility levels and population growth. It also signals significant improvements in sexual and reproductive health, including reduced maternal and child mortality and morbidity. Ensuring women having the ability to plan and space their pregnancies is critical for advancing gender equality and it parallels women’s opportunities for education, employment and full participation in society. Countries with rapid population growth rates tend to have the highest levels of poverty, with great strain on public services which dramatically reduces the capacity of governments to meet citizen’s basic needs. Therefore reducing fertility rates permits greater investment in education, health and employment skills and contributes to community development and poverty alleviation. High rates of population growth exert pressure on the environment and resources such as land and water and heighten vulnerability to climate change. They can also heighten the potential for civil conflict and political instability, especially where there is pressure on limited land and water resources or mass migration and high youth employment. Reducing population growth by preventing unplanned pregnancies will increase the prospects and reduce the costs of PNG meeting its Millennium Development Goals and support progress towards other key development priorities.
PM O’NEILL: GOVERNMENT IS EMPOWERING GRASSROOTS TO ADVANCE THE NATION The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, said the Government is changing Papua New Guinea for the better by empowering grassroots men, women and children of the nation. He made these remarks when launching the Nipa/Kutubu District Five Year Development Plan 2013-2017 at the Nipa Government Station in Southern Highlands Province yesterday. PM O’Neill said the right policies from the most effective Government in the history of the nation, was enabling people to improve their lives. “This government is investing in districts, provinces and ward councils, which is taking service delivery to the people of our rural areas. Grassroots people know what is needed in their areas and they must be included in decision-making processes. “Now councillors, village magistrates and court officers are funded by the Government, and this consistency facilitates leadership and decision-making at the local level. We will continue to strengthen the public service from the districts up to the national level.” The Prime Minister said the government is building new public servants’ houses, cleaning up problems in the law and order system, and providing opportunities for children to be educated and families to have access to healthcare. “Provinces are now receiving almost three billion kina each year for key impact projects. This is the first time in history of this country. For 40 years governments looked around for money as if we were one of the poorest countries in the world. Papua New Guinea had to beg for money from the International Monetary Fund, the Word Bank and countries like Australia. Now we have enough revenue, and we have proper management of how we spend this revenue for our people. Previously governments also put billions of Kina into trust accounts – but where has all this money gone? This must have been either stolen or mismanaged on so many bogus projects. These bogus projects were never delivered but were still needed in the country. Now you can look around and see the new projects being rolled out before your eyes,” PM O’Neill said. The launch was a memorable day for the people of Nipa/Kutubu, who gathered in thousands to witness the long-awaited occasion despite ongoing wet weather. The Nipa/Kutubu District Five Year Development Plan 2013-2017 enables the local level government to follow a roadmap, aligned with Papua New Guinea Vision 2050, that is aimed at enhancing ongoing development in the district. Accompanying the Prime Minister, were senior ministers including Works Minister, Hon. Francis Awesa MP, and Finance Minister, Hon. James Marape MP. | Source: Post – Courier, 05th March 2015
STUDENTS ENJOY NEW PIT TOILETS IN RURAL SCHOOL Papalealea Primary and Elementary School pupils have set up their water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) committee to take care of a project from Anglicare PNG through funding help from Water Aid Australia. Anglicare’s WASH project programme manager Issabella Warre said Papalealea was the second school in Kairuku-Hiri district, Central, that the organisation had provided modern pit toilets and hand-washing facilities to. She said through a partnership with the school, the student WASH committee was set up to look after the six modern pit toilets, two for elementary and four for primary students, a female shower room and 11 hand-washing facilities. Yesterday the four committee members made up of Grades 7 and 8 pupils – Esther Gata, Koari Heni, Maria Dere and Rova Maha – and two teachers were happy to have a team from an Australian non-government organisation visit. The team visited the school to see the effectiveness and benefit of the project in terms of improving sanitation and hygiene for students. Health teacher Wapu James thanked Anglicare and Water Aid Australia for the facilities provided. “Students took the responsibility to make sure the toilets are cleaned every day, as well as the drinking water and hand-washing areas,” she said. Research and evaluation manager Ben Ward who visited the school was impressed with students’ outstanding work in monitoring and keeping the facilities clean. Source: The National, 05th March 2015
NEW BRIDGE BRINGS RELIEF | By Zachery Per SOME members of the Paglau tribe living in Kerowagi, Simbu, are finally seeing vehicles at their village after repairs to a bridge damaged more than 20 years ago. The Tem Nigle Bridge has been repaired and upgraded with funding from Kerowagi MP Camilus Dangma and Simbu Governor Noah Kool. Project public relations officer Philip Kessy Wau said the temporary bridge and the upgrading of the road from Kerowagi station to Omugl village were welcomed by the people. The road upgrade will continue to Denge village on the border with North Waghi district in Jiwaka. He said the Tem Nigle Bridge was washed away more than 20 years ago. School children and public servants from the village faced difficulties in crossing the creek during rainy days. “We lost a young man who drowned and died recently. Another sustained a leg injury while trying to cross the creek,” Wau said. Village spokesman Aglua Paglau is happy to see vehicles in his village after 20 years. Although they live close to Kerowagi town, the road is cut off because there is no bridge. “The old access road connects Nondugl, in Jiwaka, to Kerowagi station but was left neglected,” Paglau said. “The road serves the people of upper and lower Dagle and Paglau tribes.” Simbu provincial administrator Joe Kunda, who visited the bridge, told the Omugl villagers that it should be ready in two weeks.| Source: The National, Thursday March 5th, 2015
ANGLICARE LITERACY PROGRAM ATTRACTS PEOPLE OF ALL AGES Anglicare Stop AIDS, a non-governmental organisation, begun a literacy program for people living with HIV/AIDS in early 2000, but today the program has changed its name to literacy for all because the people attending it come from varied backgrounds. They include successful businessmen and women who want to be able to write their own letters and sign signatures on cheque books rather than rely on someone else to do it for them. There were also parents pulling out their children from primary schools and taking them to these classes where they believed the children would learn better. The literacy program has four levels – one to four and the 105 people are one of two classes of level 1A which comprises people who had never been to school. There was also a class of level three that was in a building. Every day, these people have classes from 8am to midday and leave for others in levels two to four to come for classes in the afternoon. The latter include people who have not completed their schooling for various reasons. Eighteen-year-old girls Inau Ben and Augusta Mara from Eastern Highlands and Morobe provinces respectively said they had never been to school because of school fee problems but since they started coming for literacy classes, their parents, who were not keen in sending them to school before, were supportive, especially after seeing how much they have progressed in reading and writing. “I’m happy. I’m learning so many things here. I’m now able to read and write. Everything these days requires reading and writing so we have to learn these things,’’ said Ms Ben. Anglicare Port Moresby program manager Bernard Paru said Anglicare is helping complement the government because those who fall out of the formal system seek help there. | Source: Post – Courier, 04th March 2015
WINDS OF CHANGE IN REMOTE DISTRICTS | BY Isaac Nicholas in Mendi Winds of change are now blowing into some of the most remote districts, says Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. The Prime Minister, who led a high-level government team, said this when launching a number of multi-million kina projects in Nipa and Kagua in Southern Highlands Province. Mr O’Neill said K3 billion had been year to all districts and provinces each year and there was no reason why districts and provinces could not change. “For the last 40 years, we have been looking for money everywhere like we are poor. We go to International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Australia and beg. Now, we don’t have to beg. We have got enough revenue but we are not managing it properly. Billions of kina, not millions but billions parked in trust accounts, all have been lost or mismanaged, there have been a lot of con projects,” he said.” The Prime Minister said today money was put to districts and provinces.”Today the projects are in your face, you can see it. If an MP, Governor and even Government do not deliver, you can change that in 2017 election. If I don’t work, you can change me,” he told thousands of people in Nipa and Kagua. Mr O’Neill said this government will continue to do its best to develop the districts, provinces and country in during its term. “Our Government should continue to work hard every day. We have determination to change the country.” In Nipa, Mr O’Neill launched the Nipa-Kutubu five-year development plan, road sealing from Lai Bridge to Poroma turn-off, Poroma to Werin to Tindom Hill. He also allocated K 10 million for power from Hela border to Mendi. In Kagua yesterday he launched the sealing of Ialibu to Kagua and Erave road to connect to Kikori in Gulf Province. Mr O’Neill was accompanied by Ministers James Marape, Francis Awesa, Vice-minister Labi Amaiu and Governor William Powi. | Source: Post – Courier, 06th March 2015
HEALTH UP-DATE |
TEEN’S DREAM TO HELP IS SAVING LIVES | By Maureen Gerawa AN American teenager’s dream to bring help to Papua New Guinea has materialised and is today seeing lives saved in East Sepik Province. President and co-founder of Samaritan Aviation Mark Palm said yesterday that he first saw the need to work in PNG when he visited in 1994 as a 19-year-old. Samaritan Aviation, a not-for-profit organisation, is based in Colorado, USA, and through an exploratory work in early 2010, Mr Palm’s team decided to begin in East Sepik because of the great need. Since then they have saved 363 lives who would not have survived without these emergency evacuations. More than half of these life flights on its float plane were mothers and babies. Recently, he said they bought a second float plane with the help of US donors and Angoram MP Salio Walpio. The organisation is helping reduce the country’s high maternal and child mortality rates. They do not charge for any of the flights which are being funded by individuals and sponsors in the US as well as the East Sepik Provincial Government. Next week, Tuesday, March 10, will be five years since the organisation made its first evacuation of a mother on Good Friday on the Sepik River with a pregnancy complication who was unconscious and in critical condition. The 45 minute flight to and from the village resulted in an emergency surgery. Both she and her baby lived. She named him Mark. The quick flights are not only bringing critically-ill patients to the major hospital at Boram, but are flying medical supplies safely to the health centres and aid posts on timely basis. As the organisation celebrates its five years of operation, Mr Palm has used this occasion to thank the Government and non-government organisations and churches that have been its partners in the delivery of health services in East Sepik Province. | Source: Post – Courier, 06th March 2015
CATHOLIC HEALTH SERVICE CONTINUES TO PROVIDE BASIC SERVICES TO PEOPLE OF KIUNGA DARO DIOCESE This time in Kiunga Catholic Mission Urban Clinic the community health workers with Bishop Giles Cote of Kiunga Daru Diocese, North Fly Health Director John Larry, Catholic Health Service Secretary Sr Anna Sangimawa and Acting Health Secretary of Evangelical Churches of PNG Max Ako with other partners launched the TB Program to fight TB in the catchment area in Kiunga. The theme “A way forward in reducing TB in Western Province through advocacy on Behaviorally change back to the basic,” brings to light many important preventive educational measures that can be taken to fight the deadly disease. People from all settlements in the St Gerard Parish came to listen to what the health professionals using power point got for them about TB. According to the Catholic Health Secretary Sr Anna Sangimawa the aim of the awareness was to educate, advocate and show the people little basic preventive measures that can be taken to fight TB, and if those that have it, a way forward on getting treatment in hospital and clinic. Sr Anna said Multiple Drug Resistant TB (MDR) was their target within this two weeks to preach about and make it known to the people that Kiunga has no place for MDR TB. “Let’s take the basic steps to fight TB simply by taking preventive measures and quit the style of being ignorant,” Sr Anna said. She said the government has paid for the medicine and it’s free in clinics and hospitals it’s up to us now to take that responsibility to make health our business and work towards maintaining healthy lifestyle in our homes and families. She said her team of Community Health workers will be travelling to each house in the catchment area starting tomorrow to implement their program. Bishop Giles Cote while addressing the people urged the people to take Health as their own business. He said God has created us and has given us gift of life and Jesus Christ as our savior and we must look after our life and body. He thanked the Catholic Health Services and other partners for working together to fight health problems in the district and the province. North Fly District Health Director John Larry says TB is a bigger problem in Western Province and ranked third in the nation. Mr Larry said we must work together as partners to fight TB changing behaviour and attitude of the people. “We cannot bring new ideas, the best thing is education, behavior change, awareness, and continue to do house to house family awareness. He urged the people to take health as their own problem and work as a team to combat this disease. He also stressed on the government to help in providing more funding and logistic support to clinics, aid post and health centres to implement TB programs. However according to the power point presentation Western Province especially Daru has been reported with increasing number of TB cases and it’s spreading rapidly. It cost K8, 400 to treat a TB Drug Resistant TB Patient and this goes up to K38, 000 a patient for extensive drug- resistance TB and yearly 15, 000 cases of TB is recorded. Western Province is the third highest province with the highest number of TB and rising rapidly, as of December 2014, 153 drug resistant TB and on second line treatment in Western Province. | Source: PNGLOOP, 3rd Mar, 2015
KIDU SUPPORTS PROGRAM TO STOP MATERNAL MORTALITY RATE A STRONG advocate on maternal mortality says the issue of maternal mortality, maternal health and child health is not a health issue, it’s a social issue and a development issue. As the new patron of the new $10 million, five-year research program, Dame Carol Kidu is believed to be a new and influential supporter for Burnet Institute’s healthy mothers, healthy babies (HMHB) program, designed to address the appalling rate of death and disease among women and children in Papua New Guinea. “I’ve been a strong advocate on maternal mortality, not just in PNG but regionally, and I recognise that we are nowhere near reaching any of the targets that we are supposed to meet. The need for evidence-based approaches is critical, and I’m confident that Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies will inspire and assist enormously,” Dame Carol said. Dame Carol becomes the Patron of the new, $10 million, five-year research program, which aims to arrest a maternal mortality rate in PNG that’s one of the highest in the world and 80 times worse than Australia’s. She said but we need to remember that Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies is only the beginning of a long road. Communities need to take responsibility for the safety of mothers, and that includes men.” The only female member for the majority of her 15 years in the PNG Parliament, Dame Carol served as Minister for Community Development in the Government of Sir Michael Somare from 2002-2011. She also founded the Safe Motherhood Alliance of PNG with the aim to build sustainable solutions to the problems of child and maternal health. | Source: Post – Courier, 06th March 2015
LOCALS TO GET NEW HEALTH FACILITY| By Pearson Kolo A RURAL district in Western Highlands Province will have a new community health post with funding from the Australian Government and the Asian Development Bank. This is after Australian and ADB officers went to the rural district last Sunday and officiated at the ground breaking ceremony. During the groundbreaking ceremony in Alkena Tambul district, the minister and counselor for the Development Corporation of the Australian High Commission to PNG, James Hall, and ADB vice president administration and corporate management Bruce Davis told more than 2000 people that their organisations are there to help support the livelihood of people through such projects. “Our organisations exist to support people around the world to provide basic services and needs in their areas. This Community Health Post project in Alkena will provide all the basic health services to the people,” Mr Davis and Mr Hall said during their speeches. “Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority chief executive officer Dr James Kintwa who was also present during the ceremony thanked AusAid and ADB for jointly funding the Community Health Post project in Tambul. A water project, also part of the community health post project, was officially opened by Mr Hall. | Source: Post – Courier, 06th March 2015
MEN’S HEALTH PROGRAM UNDERWAY | By Haiveta Kivia Cutting off the foreskin of penis, insertion of foreign bodies and penis enlargements boils down to lack of men’s health programs right throughout Papua New Guinea. The PNG Sexual Health Society based in Port Moresby and its partners are trying their very best to promote Men’s Health Issues in PNG. It is one aspect of health issue not taken very seriously for a long time by the Department of Health, health care facilities and providers. The cross cutting issue, in regards to the foreskin cutting and ‘do it yourself’ penis enlargement practices, is that Man’s Health Issues, a health program specifically targeted for man and boys is non-existent. Lack of knowledge is playing a big part in the abuse and harm caused to many men and boys. Sebastian Robert, the Technical Advisor for Gender and Men’s Health at the National Department of Health, stated that an officer to deal directly with men’s health office was recruited three months ago. Mr Robert said the program is new in Papua New Guinea and his office was still drawing up guidelines, policies and recruiting personnel to roll out the program country wide. “It’s not easy as it may seem, trying to establish the program,” he said. He said the program will be holding its second consultative meeting next Wednesday. | Source: Post – Courier, 06th March 2015
JUST A THOUGHT |
FROM THE MEMBERS |
LINK OF THE WEEK |
Australia supports accredited Australian Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) to deliver cost effective, practical and direct poverty reduction programs through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). In 2014-15, Australian NGOs will deliver over 600 community development projects in more than 50 countries, particularly the Indo Pacific region, reaching 23 million people. The ANCP will directly support community-level economic development, facilitating access to markets, improving livelihoods for women, and working to strengthen links between communities, government and the private sector.
To know more about the ANCP please click on the link below;
BLOGS TO WATCH|
ATPROJECTS NEWS |
SCHOOL BENEFITS FROM WASH PROGRAM |By Janet Rowaro Fimito Primary School in the Eastern Highlands Province is the latest beneficiary to ATprojects School Water Sanitation and Hygiene [WASH] program funded by Oxfam [New Zealand]. The school is located 30 minutes out of Goroka town and caters for more than 200 students and a total number of nine teachers. With the maintenance of six ATLoo toilets installed back in 2005, installation of a 9000 litres tank and a 1000 litres tank to a girls shower house, the school had a re-opening ceremony last week 26th of February this year. During the reopening ceremony the Head Teacher of Fimito Primary School Aron Kameku was happy with the work and commitment that ATprojects had put into the school to complete the installation the facilities which included the tank water supply system and at the same time thanked Oxfam [New Zealand] for funding the project. Mr Kameku said the maintenance of the toilets will have a good impact on the lives of the students who on many occasions have been feeling ashamed to use the old rundown toilets. He said over the years him and his board of management had written several letters to the provincial government to secure funds to renovate the toilet facilities in the school but have been unsuccessful. He added that despite being located near the township of Goroka town the school had been neglected from basic services for quite a while until in 2013 when Digicel Foundation built a double classroom with solar lighting, installed one 9000 litre tuffa tank, two pit latrines and built a girl’s shower house in which ATprojects had complemented it by installing a 1000 litre tuffa tank. ATprojects Senior WASH project officer, Richard Longgar said it was during an assessment of the school facilities conducted towards the end of 2014 that ATprojects had decided to help Fimito Primary School as the toilet facilities installed back in 2005 had already deteriorated which were unhygienic to be used by the students. Mr Longgar told the students, teachers and parents to look after the facilities properly to ensure that they last long. He also challenged the teachers to encourage their students on the importance of health and hygiene practices in the classroom. “When students have proper toilets and water supply system in place in the school they will learn well in their classroom and it is also importance that teachers remind the students to wash their hands often after using the toilets. Now they do not have an excuse not to wash their hands because we have already installed a tap stand in a location that they can easily have access to,” he said. He said ATprojects through the support of Oxfam [New Zealand] aims to meet the needs for each of the schools that it works with and is glad that it is able to assist Fimito Primary through its services and urged the school board and parents, teachers and students to take care of the facilities well and maintain them as the responsibility now entirely rests on them. The school serves students from the surrounding villages of Ekepoka, Kamuka, Kafana and Lahamona which are located within the Goroka Rural Local Level Government Council. | Source: ATprojects Media Unit, 06th March 2015
POSITIONS VACANT |
Location: National Capital District, Papua New Guinea Coalition for Change PNG Inc. (CFC PNG) is a community based not for profit advocacy group launched in November 2007 to address the issue of gender based violence, particularly violence in the home.
CFC PNG aims to make a positive difference by working with organisations with similar aims to eliminate violence, and, to change the attitudes of individuals so that everyone, especially women and children are treated with respect and dignity. CFC PNG’s priority after it was formed was to seek legislative and policy reform to curb domestic violence. It prepared the draft Family Protection bill, which it submitted to the Government through the Department of Justice & Attorney General. On 18th September 2013, the National Parliament passed the Family Protection Act. The Family Protection Act makes domestic violence a criminal offence. It also provides victims of domestic violence the legal avenue to seek protection under it. The Act is gender neutral, which means, either spouse or partner in a heterosexual intimate relationship is entitled to seek protection under its provisions. The Family Protection Regulation is in the final stage of completion and CFC PNG is preparing to rollout awareness of the application of the Act, commencing in the second half of this year.
Role: Executive Manager
We are looking for a dynamic individual to lead Coalition for Change, into the next stage of the work on legislative and policy reform and to rollout our awareness programmes on the Act. That person must be one who believes in the right of every person to be free from fear, physical and emotional hurt caused by spousal and/or gender generated violence. The Executive Manager must be someone who is capable of leading a team of volunteers, and is able to foster professional relationships with the Government agencies, the business community, faith-based organisations, the international bilateral agencies, CFC PNG’s members and supporters. She /He is responsible for ensuring the overall efficient and effective implementation of all programs and the financial and the administrative functions of CFC PNG, as well as overseeing the professional and ethical conduct and activities of the organization, consistent with it’s vision, mission and business plan. Basic Qualifications: Minimum of a bachelor’s degree in Arts (majoring in Social Development) or Law with relevant training and work experience in human rights issues
A salary package commensurate with the basic qualification and experience of the applicant will be offered.
CFC PNG is funded solely by its own fundraising activities and support from the private sector. If you are interested, please submit your written application. You can also obtain the full text of the Terms of Reference for the role of Executive Manager by contacting Ms Leslie Thomas on Telephone 320 0227 /313 1807 or email email@example.com Applications will close on the 13th of March 2015.
VIEW POINT |
IS IT JUST US OR IS THE WHOLE WORLD STUPID? Francis Nii There are some things that human beings – to be specific Papua New Guineans – do that, when I consider them critically, I find to be so absurd as to wonder whether they have brains. There was this mother selling taro nicely creamed in coconut oil with spring onion and garlic puree. You could smell it from afar. Her grown-up girl came back from school and she was hungry. The mother gave her one kina from the money she had earned from the sale of the taro and told her to buy a bun known as dry scone. The girl grinned and walked to the nearest bun seller, got herself a dry scone and sated her hunger while other people bought taro from her mother for one kina and ate it with coconut milk and garlic and onion soup served on plate. A delicious and healthy snack. Another time I saw a woman selling oranges at our small market at the hospital’s front gate for K1 50. Her little kid came crying to her for something. Instead of giving the child an orange, the mother gave her a kina and told the kid to buy a bottle of Tang. The kid ran to the Tang seller and, wearing a broad smile, came back carrying a bottle of the sugary beverage. There is a fisherman from Wara Simbu who catches trout in the river. Each time he catches a big one, he sells it. With the money, he buys lamb flaps, an animal product classified as health hazard and unfit for human consumption in Australia and New Zealand. There it’s processed into animal feed but it also floods PNG supermarkets because dogs and Simbu fishermen likes it. I see many coastal people doing the same thing. They toil in the rough seas, fighting the wind, rain and sun, to catch fish to sell them at the market. After they sell everything, they buy lamb flaps and tinned fish full of additives and little quantity and take them home to eat. A mother and daughter sold English potatoes at the main market. In the evening they bought a packet of rice to take home. Before catching a PMV, they were in one of the Chinese fast food places eating potato chips. Whenever I think about these things, it makes me wonder which part of their body these people use for thinking. It can’t be their brains. And I wonder whether there are people like them in Australia, New Zealand and other countries or do we only have them in Papua New Guinea.
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK |
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JOURNALISTS INVITED TO APPLY FOR UN FELLOWSHIP Journalists across Papua New Guinea are being invited to apply for a month-long Fellowship programme at UN Headquarters set to take place in New York City later this year. The Reham Al-Farra Memorial journalists fellowship program, which is open to journalists, aged 22-35, would provide a range of exclusive learning and networking opportunities to 15 successful candidates from around the world. The UN resident coordinator Roy Trivedy says this is a life-changing opportunity for any young journalist. “Giving a young journalist the chance to join other professionals from around the world in an intensive one month programme guided by international experts is an exciting prospect,” Mr Trivedy said. “Journalism plays a strong role in communicating the diverse work of the United Nations, and in addressing development challenges, so we are thrilled to support learning opportunities such as this for young professionals.” This year’s fellowship will also give participants a unique hands-on experience of the UN during one of the most significant times in the organisation’s 70-year history. “The Fellowship participants will be based in UN headquarters while the 70th session of the UN General Assembly is taking place. During this time we will see the global sustainable development goals being adopted – a truly momentous time in global development history,” Mr Trivedy said. The Fellowship is named in honour of Ms Reham Al-Farra, a young UN staff member killed in the bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad. The program is sponsored by the United Nations department of public information as a fellowship program for junior and mid-level broadcasters and journalists from developing countries and countries with economies in transition. As of 2014, 536 journalists and broadcasters from 166 countries have taken part in the program. Interested applicants can request a copy of the application by contacting the United Nations Resident Coordinators office communications officer, Hannah Gleeson at Hannah.email@example.com or by visiting in person level 14 Deloitte Tower, NCD Port Moresby. Stage one applications close at 9am next Monday. | Source: Post – Courier, 02nd March 2015
WALK TO MARK WOMEN’S DAY
A peace walk is to be held in Port Moresby this Sunday as part of the commemoration of International Women’s Day. The walk will start at 6.30am but people are expected to arrive before 5.45am to register if they have not already registered. A global event, International Women’s Day, falls every year on March 8. It is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women and also call for greater equality. Soroptimist International Club of Port Moresby will host the Peace Walk which will start at IEA Ela Beach sporting grounds, toward Port Road and through Downtown, before finishing back at IEA Ela Beach sporting grounds. Soroptimist International is a global non-profit organisation which has programs for the advancement of young girls and women in the community. It has been operating in PNG since 2005. The organisation has three clubs – Port Moresby, Lae and Ramu – which are run by part-time volunteer members. Each of these clubs work on projects that include skills training for permanent jobs in areas such as retail and hospitality, as well as to empower women through fellowship activities and facilitation of outreach programs in rural community groups, such as Birthing in the Pacific Project (BIP). Soroptimist International Club of Port Moresby has 28 members and will continue to find ways to support empower and create opportunities for women by enhancing their opportunities for education and training for sustainable employment in Port Moresby. Everyone is welcome to join the walk. | Source: Post – Courier, March 2015
PNG IS INVITED TO SHOWCASE INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO ADDRESSING GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IN UN HEADQUARTERS
A delegation from the PNG Public Service has been invited to UN Headquarters in New York to visit 9th session of the Commission on the Status of Women and present innovative approaches to addressing gender-based violence during the dedicated side event. Papua New Guinea is among 2 other countries – Guatemala and Argentina – whose work on gender based violence has been selected as an innovative intervention. The examples of this work include new SMS-alert system for violence victims and GBV service database system. The new SMS-alert system will connect human rights defenders from the communities to Family Sexual Violence Action Committee Secretariats in the provinces. Through free of charge SMS-system human rights defenders will be able to send requests for urgent assistance. The secretariats will be available 24/7, and will be responsible to providing appropriate support to the victims. The GBV service database will allow to collect reported cases and help to identify existing bottlenecks, monitor the response rates and provide insights to the extent of support needed for further planning. Both interventions are introduced by joint initiative of the Government of Papua New Guinea and UNDP. The delegation from Papua New Guinea will be headed by the Secretary of Department of Personnel Management, Mr. John Kali, and include representatives of his department, Department of Community Development and Religion, Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee and UNDP in Papua New Guinea. As part of the week-long visit the delegation will also have bilateral meetings UN Special rapporteur on violence against women Ms. Rashida Manjoo, representatives of the UNDP and UNWOMEN, Permanent mission of PNG to the UN and NGO working on preventing community-based violence in New York. “The UN fully recognises the efforts of the Government of PNG in complying with the responsibility to protect and promote the rights of women and girls. The Government has a commitment to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. The fact that PNG delegation was invited to present its work on gender equality demonstrates that the world is interested in hearing about the progress that is being achieved in Papua New Guinea. The delegation will also hear about the work that is going on in other countries to protect and promote gender equality. We are looking forward to hearing about the delegation’s experiences on their return to Port Moresby and particularly about new ideas and solutions that can benefit the women of Papua New Guinea”, said Roy Trivedy, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative. Side event “New partnerships for addressing and preventing GBV” where PNG delegation will make a presentation will take place on 13th of March and is organized by Korean Republic and UNDP. | Source: UNDP Media Unit, 05th March 2015
TECHNOLOGY UPDATE |
DATABASE TO ASSIST LLGS | By Abraham Avediba Proper multi-sector databases of villages is an important tool to assist the Government in delivering services to remote villages, says Social Impact Consultancy (SIC). SIC managing director Meredith Tutumang describes the multi-sector database as a record that would capture up-to-date information on various demographic, economic and agriculture activities that take place in a village and local level government areas. “Speaker of Parliament and MP for Finschhafen, Theo Zurenuoc, had assigned us to do a thorough finding and create a multi-sector database for Huon and Finschhafen districts of Morobe Province. “We’ve noted that about 80 per cent of people in these areas are dependent on government services, which in most cases, doesn’t reach them,” Ms Tutumang said. | Source: Post – Courier, March 2015
PM: ID REGISTRATION A MUST
EVERY Papua New Guinean must have their identity registered before they can access services such as free education and health care, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says. He was in Kundiawa, Simbu, last Friday to open the first phase of sealing of the road from Kundiawa to Gembogl. “Free education and free health services will benefit those who have their identity registered,” O’Neill said. He called on all citizens to have their identities registered. O’Neill was the first to register his identity last week in his Ialibu-Pangia electorate in Southern Highlands. He had said the project was vital because it would allow the Government to know where it had to deliver services. “It is vital as it will cut down on the massive allegations of double voting, ghost name voting, underage voting and many other illegal voting systems experienced over the years,” he said. O’Neill said it would help the Government to plan for development. |Source: The National, Thursday March 5th, 2015
FROM THE BUSH |
PUSH FOR CROP DIVERSIFICATION
Crop diversification is one way to bring development into a remote area of East New Britain Province, with the agriculture concept of alternating forestry and agriculture, a forum was told. The public forum was organised to gauge views and grievances of the Makolkol people in the Lassul Baining area in East New Britain province on how the environmental plan can cater for their needs. The Department of Environment and Conservation, assisted by the provincial administration, is working to draw up an environmental plan to allow for a large scale agro-forestry integrated development project. The forum was to hear from the landowners and general public about the proposed agro-forestry integrated development project in the Makolkol timber resource area along Open Bay. The team said the initiative is a good one that would benefit the landowners because it does not only concern forestry but also alternate cash crops. | Source: Post – Courier, March 2015
WEEKLY FEATURE |
A PERSPECTIVE ON THE INFORMAL ECONOMY IN PNG |By Busa Jeremiah Wenogo By the end of this year Papua New Guinea’s national informal economy policy will have come to the end of its first five year implementation cycle. The policy was formally launched in February 2011 by then Community Development Minister Dame Carol Kidu. The enactment of the ground breaking Informal Sector Development & Control Act 2004 had necessitated the development of the policy. The lack of government budgetary support has made the road to implementation far from easy. In the face of this difficulty the policy has lacked the ability to support the bulk of PNG’s population who are engaged in the rural and urban informal economy. The lack of government support can be partly attributed to changes at the political level. Since Dame Carol Kidu lost the ministry after a change in government, the Community Development Department has seen its leadership change three times. Delilah Gore is its current Minister. However, this change at the political level might have been a blessing in disguise for policy implementation. With Anna Solomon’s appointment as the Acting Secretary the national informal economy policy gained much needed momentum. It is hoped that, with Ms Solomon now appointed as the permanent secretary, this will further advance implementation. Certainly her chairing of the informal economy sectoral committee of the CIMC (Consultative Implementation and Monitoring Council) in the latter part of 2013 saw implementation accelerating in strategic areas. These areas concerned providing public goods and services to enhance the growth of the informal economy as well as improving access to the unbanked population of PNG, most of whom are in the informal economy. Collaborating with the informal economy sectoral committee, Ms Solomon has been able to position her Department to undertake necessary reforms that complement stakeholder initiatives operating in various sectors of the economy. In 2013 and 2014 both CIMC and the Department of Community Development conducted provincial workshops on the policy in Alotau, Mt Hagen, Madang and Lae and there are plans for more consultations this year. Recently Ms Solomon expressed her desire for her Department to take full ownership and responsibility over the implementation of the national informal economy policy, something that was lacking in the previous administration. This has culminated in the establishment of a new Informal Economy Branch. This effectively elevates the policy’s status. The branch has a manager supported by a core staff of six people to support the implementation of the policy. This blossoming partnership between CIMC and the Department has led to the review of the Informal Sector Development & Control Act 2004. Led by the Constitutional Law Reform Commission (CLRC), 10 provinces have already been covered as part of a nationwide consultation process. The review is expected to be completed this year with a Cabinet submission. In the meantime, the Informal Economy Sectoral Committee has requested CLRC to allow it to vet the submission. The committee is concerned that, if CLRC repeals the law and introduces a modal law to be adopted by provincial and local level governments, this will create a big challenge for the Department of Community Development when it comes to coordination and administration. This is because many provinces and districts don’t have active community development officers at provincial and LLG levels and the Department do not have the capacity to monitor, coordinate and provide advice on the implementation of the law. In the area of financial inclusion, the Bank of PNG has been industrious in its efforts to increase access and improve the level of competency among marginalised and financially excluded people. So the future of the informal economy in PNG is brightening. Yet there are still challenges, including confusion about its role in the PNG’s overall economy. CIMC and the Department of Community Development have called on the government to clearly demarcate between the informal economy and the SME sector and in the process develop strategies to create a pathway for graduation. Both agencies believe this process should be driven through PNG’s experience rather than outside experience so it captures the homegrown issues affecting the transition of the informal economy into the SME sector. Development partners are slowly beginning to understand the important role of the informal economy in the socio-economic context of PNG, however there remains a great need for them to invest in the informal economy. These investments should focus on empowering women and ensuring that wealth generated from impact projects such as the PNG LNG is equitably distributed among PNG’s population. The PNG government should do the same so that these efforts can complement its policy to stimulate the growth of the SME sector in PNG. It is also strongly recommended that the government entrench informal economy policy in its medium term planning to ensure there is a sustained effort to support and grow the informal economy to address many of PNG’s socio-economic development issues.
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