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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 8) - The Morobe Provincial Government has earmarked K5 million [US$1.8 million] for new projects in the province this year.

In its 2008 budget passed last month, several high schools received new projects.

Police will also benefit from the budget as well as Markham District which will get water supply projects.

Out of the PGK5 million which will come from internal revenue alone, PGK1 million was allocated for construction of Poahom airstrip in Nawaeb district just outside Lae for light aircraft.

The new airstrip is set to relieve people in the districts who rely on air transport to bring their produce and travel to and from their villages.

The Wenge government decided on the new airstrip after the old airport was shut down, forcing all third level airlines to operate out of Nadzab which was a costly exercise for many travelers.

There have been complaints from the public that the trip to Nadzab was costly and dangerous as many of them were harassed and robbed by criminals.

Another K1 million was allocated for upgrading of the Lae/Kabwum road while police were given K500,000 [US$185,226] to build new accommodation for a mobile squad based in Bulolo.

Menyamya, Morobe Technical, Sala-maua, Nawaeb and Dregerhaffen high schools were given money to build new classrooms and other infrastructure this year.

The Wenge government has also earmarked another PGK5 million for repairs to existing infrastructure in the province.

Various roads in the province picked up PGK3.9 million while PGK180,000 was set aside for maintenance of bridges.

After a long while, the provincial headquarters in Lae will be given a much needed facelift.

The government has provided PGK857,000 to renovate the Tutumang building as well as offices occupied by the Department of Morobe.

"We have allowed our infrastructure to deteriorate to an unacceptable level. We can not allow this to continue. We must act now to correct the situation," Governor Wenge said when he tabled his government’s budget.

Wenge said it was important that roads were opened up to enable the people to move their produce to the markets therefore significant allocations were made to repair district truck roads and bridges.

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