Post Courier, 28 February, 2012
THERE is nothing tangible and impact in infrastructure and government services in Tari and Hela to showcase for the millions of kina given over the years by the State for the lucrative oil and gas resources in Hela region.
Hela professionals, church, youth and local leaders said this following recent media reports of their tribesmen and women converging at Vulupindi Haus in Waigani in the hope of syphoning more millions of kina from the national coffers in memorandum of agreement (MOA) funds, infrastructure development grants (IDGs), business development grants (BDG) and other benefits for the landowners in Hela.
One critique and Tari hospital boss Dr Hewali Hamiya said in the last 20 years and even with the current multi-billion kina PNG LNG project, millions of kina have been paid by the State to landowners and politicians from Hela but there was hardly anything positive being implemented in Tari and Hela to show that the money was used for the right purposes.
Dr Hamiya gave a classic example of the appalling health facilities in Hela, including the only referral hospital that serves the populous region.
He said the hospital did not have proper medical equipment while staff shortages, accommodation problems, water supply and high operational costs were crippling the delivery of medical care to the people.
He said the hospital's staff strength had been reduced from 51 to 28.
Dr Hamiya said about half of the health facilities like aid posts and health centres in the Hela needed maintenance and re-opening, some of which were closed due to poor infrastructure.
He said the Tari town was also without proper banking facility, telecommunications like landlines, fax, emails and postal services. He said there had been no district court magistrate while the Hawa rural lock-up had been closed down. It reopened recently after being rehabilitated by the provincial government.
these ghost government services and projects' in Hela.
Dr Hewali also called on the landowners not to cause chaos and anxiety at Vulupindi Haus as MOA and IDG funds are not their royalty, equity and BDG benefits.
"MOA funds are funds for the development and benefits of entire Hela and it must be channeled through the respective government departments to deliver the results instead of paying to individuals and groups where the money would only disappear in Port Moresby," Dr Hewali warned.