Isolated villages in Yangoru plains connected by road

Their string band songs and drama illustrated the challengers in life faced by the Sepik grassland people of the Yangoru - Saussia Distrct of East Sepik Province.

 In many villagers scattered among the vast stretches of grassland lacked a road network, and getting to town or seeking health and education services is hours walk from their villagers.    

Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister and local MP, Richard Maru under his term, had used public funds to build road to this isolated villagers, who called themselves ‘Wimori’  or Bandicoot because of the surrounding they live in.

The vast grassland is estimated to be more than 400,000 hectares adjoins the districts of Wewak, Angoram, Ambunti Drekiker, Wosara Gawi, Maprik and Telefomin in West Sepik.

During the opening of a road link on Wednesday, connecting the main Sepik Highway to the proposed Sepik Economic Zone (SEZ) area, the local leader was full of praise for Minister Maru.

Kiniambu – Kamatohu Ward Councillor, Daniel Simgawi said his people were neglected of many basic government services for the last 42 years.

He said, as a two term councillor, he can now see changes happening in his area of constituency.  

“First time there is a road link to my area,” Simgawi said.

It is usually a two days walk to Yehimbole to get a PMV to Wewak for the people in this constituency. 

Minister Maru said the road project is funded by the National Government at a total of K3.3 million.  

“Because of the (SEZ) project, the National Government have funded roads from Yehimbole to Kiniambu (18km) spending K1.8 million, and Kiniambu to Kamatohu (12km) is K1.5 million.”   

He added that K2 million rural electricity project from Yehimbole to Kiniambu had already started.

Meanwhile, John Andrias - chairman of the project steering committee and Trade, Commerce and Industry Secretary said having a basic infrastructure on the ground is a prerequisite by the investor, to move in.

SEZ Sepik Chicken, Grain and Cocoa project was launched in the middle of last year.

The project will be developed at Urimo (13,000 hectares) and (Kanawi 5,000 hectares) State land, traditional landowners can partner with the developer through their own arrangement after they get their titles following completion of the land mobilisation exercise.

The Yangoru – Saussia DDA is funding the land mobilisation exercise with K600,000.


Charles Yapumi