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Prime Minister, James Marape says his Government is committed to rural development throughout Papua New Guinea.

He said this at Ponowi Village in Ialibu, Southern Highlands, on Friday (January 28 2022) when officiating at the launching of Siwi Utame Agro-technical High School and Siwi Utame Loop Road.

Both are projects of the Southern Highlands Provincial Government of Governor  William Powi with support from the National Government.

“My Government is visiting the most-remote parts of Papua New Guinea,” PM Marape said before leaving by helicopter for Kapuna in Kikori, Gulf, to open a new level-4 hospital.

“We want to tell our rural people that all hope is not lost yet.

“Just because not much development has been taking place in rural areas over the last 46 years does not mean a gloomy future for us.

“The future of this country is in our own hands, especially in places like Ponowi, where there are no tribal fights.

“Such places will receive more recognition from the Government in terms of roads, schools, and others services.”

In a press statement, PM Marape said governments at national, provincial, district and local level should align and deliver services to the rural people.

He said a case in point was the Southern Highlands Provincial Government of Governor Powi which was delivering impact projects like the East Pangia Road, Wiru Loop Road and other smaller road projects.

The Prime Minister commended Governor Powi for setting up the road and school to better serve the people, and assured of his Government’s support to these initiatives which will serve over 50,000 people.

“For many years, before we took over government in May 2019, there was little support to Southern Highlands Provincial Government (SHPG) from Waigani, but that has improved and in the last two years, SHPG has invested in roads and schools, and other rural projects consistent with Government policies,” PM Marape said.

“That is the reason why I am here at Ponowi today to compliment and support a working Provincial Government to continue these two important projects” PM Marape said.

He also commended the local people for allowing use of their land for these vital services.

PM Marape said for any land claims, proper survey and valuation would be done before payments were made, as was done recently to the Walume Station land.

The Prime Minister also assured the people that his Government would continue on with projects started by the previous Government “if the projects are beneficial to the community and country like we have been supporting the Western Pacific University outside of Ialibu Station.”


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