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By Stephanie Waide

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, May 31) - The Pomio electorate in East New Britian province will now have its own wharves that will benefit at least 11,000 people in the district.

The electorate has been without a reliable wharf and jetty for years, making the transport of cash crops and passengers difficult.

Paul Tiensten, Member for Pomio and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade yesterday signed a deal worth PGK2.8 million [US$959,000] for the construction of two wharves at Uvol and Tol.

The contract was signed between the Government and engineering contractor Stocks and Partners.

"Pomio electorate is the economic strength of the province. Large volume of copra, cocoa and timber are harvested from there," Minister Tiensten said.

He said over the years, infrastructure deterioration has caused the electorate to be classed as one of the least developed electorate, said the member. However, this is not true in terms of resources, income and initiative of the people."

The people of Pomio are using outboard motor dinghies to transport cash crops and passengers to other major wharves and this has been a dangerous exercise over the years, Mr. Tiensten said.

The construction of the two wharves will centralize business and local crop producers so that their produce can be put at one location and shipped to other centers of PNG.

It will also make easy for passenger vessels like the Rabaul Queen to berth.

The Uvol wharf will cost at least PGK1 million [US$342,543] to build while the one at Tol will cost PGK1.8 million [US$616,577].

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