PNG PROVINCE SEES LITTLE RELIEF SINCE FLOOD

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Two years later, bridges, roads, hospitals still in shambles

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, July 20, 2009) – Two years after floods devastated Oro province, the remote areas have yet to see real restoration work on basic services such as roads and hospitals.

In terms of infrastructure, 22 bridges and 16 culverts burst open and, to date, many of them remain to be fixed.

According to acting provincial administrator Owen Awaita, the delay to restoration work has been the stoppage of funds meant for restoration as the Ombudsman Commission (OC) alleged funds were being misused.

But he was confident this issue would be resolved by OC and restoration work would resume.

Mr. Awaita, while responding to questions, said major bridges in Kumusi, Double Cross, Girua and Eroro were destroyed.

To date, work has started on all bridges except Kumusi.

Kumusi is the only one that is yet to have any form of concrete crossing as heavy rains and flooding destroyed foundations set for a temporary bridge.

At Double Cross, technical engineering work is being carried out by Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation (SMEC), where workers are testing the soil at the river bank to consider the appropriate spot for the bridge’s posts foundation.

SMEC site engineer Gabriel Chakumai said the test samples would be sent to relevant authorities for verifications before real work on the bridge could start.

What remains at Double Cross now is backfilling with logs which have formed the foundation for the temporary bridge.

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

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