Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The canoe culture of the Gogodala people

IN THE local Gogodala language, Gogo is west and Dala means man.
The Gogodala people of Western province believed that their ancestors came from the west traveling by canoes.
Hence, it’s believed that when someone dies, their soul leaves the corpse with the rising sun on the day after death, at which time it would travel to the west to its final resting place.
The Gogodala are a tribe of approximately 30,000, located and scattered in over 30 villages in the Western part of the Gulf of Papua. Their territory extends from the Aramia River to the lower Fly river and is the most populous Local-Level Government area in the province.
Their villages are built on small hills or ridges which become islands in the wet season
It is divided up into West, East and Fly areas and the Gogodala occupy mostly the flat terrain and the floodplain areas.
Canoes are a very important part of the Gogodala culture. The Gogodala use dugout canoes for everyday activities such as fishing, transport, hunting, collecting firewood, carrying house posts, transporting sago and garden produce.
People also characterize themselves as metaphorically ‘being inside’, or standing inside, their clan canoe.
The network of rivers and water channels provide their means of getting around.
The Gogodala are able to trace their lineage back to their original clans and even more specifically, trace their lineage back to the canoes that they used to travel there.
Since they use a clan based system to trace their descent, their origins are traced back to eight clans that originated from Ibali, the father of the Gogodala.
It is said that Ibali gave a powerful canoe to each of his eight sons, who later went on to form the eight clans.
Within each of these eight clans, people are divided into several sub-clans, or canoes, which trace their lineage back to the primary ancestor and clan canoe.
The premise of this clan and canoe system is a marriage practice that continues to be organized along the lines of a prescribed clan exchange system, referred to elsewhere as ‘sister-exchange’.
For males in the Gogodala tribe, their lives are determined by their power or strength, which they call kamali. An entity that resides in blood, kamali is the substance responsible for bodily efficacy and health. From this notion the Gogodala derived that a persons kamali is seen through their work.
Thus villagers are characterized by how they work in activities such as house-building, sago making, hunting and gardening.
Jobs for women include cooking, fishing, making sago, sago bags, grass mats and fishing baskets, collecting firewood and other bush materials for use in the house, caring for animals and maintaining the house.
A very important form of work for the Gogodala women is the production and preparation of sago.
Women are primarily responsible for the production and preparation of sago, from cutting down the palm, to cooking and preparing the sago flour for eating.
The origins of sago are that a male ancestor brought the original sago with him and cultivated it in certain areas for others to collect. It is believed that if eaten correctly, sago gives energy, and thus it is a very important part of the their culture to consume sago.
Ancestral totems (including the snake, crocodile, pig, bird of paradise, hornbill, eel, hawk, and cassowary) were at the core of traditional religion, and clan insignia were displayed on all implements, canoes, and ceremonial objects.
In the southern region around the Gulf of Papua, rich artistic traditions abound, and Gogodala styles have been regarded as perhaps the most abstract and individualistic of them all.
Until the 1930s, Gogodalas surrounded themselves with their art, elaborately carving and painting longhouse posts and joists, ladders, canoes, canoe paddles, drums, and nearly everything else.
Light, balsa like wood and cane were the basic materials for flat, shield like masks and plaques, flat or round ancestral human figures, and three-dimensional totem effigies, all of which typically manifested the Gogodala hallmark of concentric designs incorporating asymmetric appendages.
The Gogodala make 90 foot (30 meter) dugout racing canoes with elaborate prows and painted sides. Paddles are decorated with the owner’s clan gawa tao. Canoe races symbolized the competitive rivalry but also the complementarities of clans and communities at the conclusion of the aida ceremony and at truce making.
Last year I visited Balimo in Western province to attend the fifth Gogodala Canoe Festival.
The Gogodala Canoe Festival is one of many events registered on the National Cultural Commission calendar of events.
The sixth Gogodala Canoe Festival will held in Balimo on April 23 and 24.
For further information call Senior Cultural Officer David Taim at the National Cultural Commission on 323 5120/323 5119.
How to get to Balimo; enquire with Airlines PNG.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Aussies too good

Pride and determination . . . PNG Prime Minister’s XIII backrower Rod Griffin attempting to break through the Australian defence, with centre Joel Monaghan keeping a close watch during their rugby league international at the Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby yesterday. The Australians came back strongly in the second half, after leading by six points at the break, to pile on another 28 to win 54-30. Despite the loss, a happy PNG coach Adrian Lam said the focus would now be on selecting a PNG Kumuls World Cup outfit through an Origin-style match scheduled for Oct 12. – Nationalpic by WILLIAM WILLIANDO

* Kumuls run out of steam after a strong first half *
IN A MATCH that featured a feast of tries, the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII outscored Papua New Guinea Telikom Kumuls 54-30 in Port Moresby yesterday.

The Kangaroos’ 10 tries to six victory did enough to silence the 5,000-strong vocal home crowd as the Australians ran riot in the second half, in a gripping and fiery encounter at Lloyd Robson Oval.
Most of the Aussie players, looking to put their hand up for World Cup selection, needed the victory after surrendering a halftime lead in the 24-24 draw last year.
But in a stark contrast to that performance, the Australians, led by Nathan Hindmarsh, reached the half century mark in the second 40, after only having a 22-16 advantage at the break.
Young stars Jarryd Hayne and Chris Lawrence both bagged doubles, while Hindmarsh, Robbie Farah, Michael Jennings, Joe Picker, Carl Webb and Josh Morris also scored.
PNG captain Stanley Gene, who was at his damaging best both in attack and defence, scored two tries in each of the halves to inspire the Kumuls, but that did little to dampen the Australian onslaught engineered by halfback Scott Prince and Robbie Farah for their electrifying backline to pile on the points quickly.
However, the Kumuls, sensing danger after going 12 points down in the opening 10 minutes, narrowed the gap through backrower Nickson Kolo and tries to front rower Rodney Pora and pivot Gene.
The Kumuls scored three tries in the last 20 minutes of the second half through winger Michael Mark, Gene and Ham Tee, but the Australians had already secured the much needed win.
Australian coach Mal Meninga, while praising his team’s excellent performance in the hot conditions, said that PNG too had improved a lot, especially in attack and defence.
“PNG had improved and they looked like a committed bunch of players who got the better of us in the first half. Good for us, we hung in there and came out on top in the end. It was a good performance by us as it was always tough playing PNG up here,” Meninga said.
Australian captain Hindmarsh, with a heap of bilums presented by fans dangling from his neck, said it was the brutal encounter he expected.
“We expected it to be brutal and tough, especially in the first half, but full credit to the boys, especially Ben Cross, Carl Webb and Chris Heighinton,” Hindmarsh said.
Kumuls coach Adrian Lam said he was proud of his team’s performance as it a was team with a lot of players flown in from around the world.
“I am very happy with the boys’ performance as we were in the game in the first half, but a bit of execution let us down in the second 40. Now, I am focused on the Kumuls selection match (in two weeks),” Lam said.
The Kumuls World Cup team will be selected after the origin style match on Oct 12.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

PNG Blind Union National Leadership Training Workshop

1) Develop the capacity for a number of blind people to govern and manage their own organisation
2) Develop advocacy skills so that blind people can advocate for the rights of all blind people at the national and provincial level
3) Prioritise the key issues for the Executive Committee of the PNGBU to pursue over the coming year.
DAY ONE: Monday 27 October 2008
Time Session Facilitator/Trainers
9.00 - 9.30am Opening
Intro/overview of PNGBU: How we got to where we are.
Official Opening by Minister Chair Anna
Dona Ou (PNGBU)
Dame Carole Kidu, Minister for Community Development
9.30 – 11.00am Building a good Organisation:
- running committee/board meetings (chairing, agendas, minutes)
- office bearers: roles and responsibilities
Good governance introduction (role of members, organizational constitution, incorporation) Presenter: Dan.
Local Expert: Ben Theodore
Chair: Anna
11.00 - 11.30am Morning Tea
11.30 - 1.00pm Governing your organization
being a leader in your organisation
- accountability and transparency
- supervision of secretariat
- managing funds Chair: Oboi Kaka
Presenter: Robyn McKenzie and Kevin Murphett.
Local Expert: tbc (Ben T to approach ICRAF)
1.00 - 2.00pm Lunch

Day 1 Continued…../

2.00 - 4.30pm Getting the money:
Approaching donors
- funding submission writing

Chair: Martin Kawagle
Presenter: Kevin Murphett and Karen McKenzie
Local expert: Adris Kombruah (Director NSI)

7.00 - 8.30pm Ethics for NGO’s in PNG
- Ethical management: ie self discipline, openness, honesty, leadership. Chair: Petros Kuup
Presenter: Kevin Murphet
Local expert: tbc from Garoko University or Devine Word.

DAY TWO Tuesday 28 October 2008.
Time Session Facilitator/Trainers
9.00 – 11.00am Getting the work done
-basics of strategic planning (vision, mission, prioritizing work)
Drawing up a Work plan Chair: Dona Ou
Presenter: Dan Stubbs
Local Expert: TBC from Garoko University Business School.
11.00 - 11.30am Morning Tea
11.30 - 1.00pm Getting the work (cont’d)
Monitoring and evaluation of projects (Log frames, outputs, indicators, risks
Chair: Pipi OaHo
Presenter: Dan Stubbs and Robyn McKenzie.
Local expert: Calam Services representative (tbc)
1.00 - 2.00pm Lunch
2.00 - 4.30pm What is advocacy?
- overview and examples using local issues Chair: Ben Theodore
Presenter: Marleen Nellisse
Local Expert: Anna Hitovea

7.00 - 8.30pm Blind Citizens Australia and World Blind Union
- Advocacy work.
WBU - membership roles, responsibilities and opportunities for PNGBU. Opportunities for linkages between PNGBU and BCA.
- Discussion: What does PNGBU want from WBU
Chair: Anna Hitovea
presenter Robyn McKenzie and Kevin Murphett.

DAY THREE: Wednesday 29 October 2008
Time Session Facilitator/Trainers
9.00 – 11.00am Practical skills for advocacy:
-letter writing
meeting and negotiating with government and service providers
Developing an advocacy position, presenting it and follow up.
Protesting, lobbying politicians, gaining community support.

Chair: Ovoi Kaka
Presenter: Robyn McKenzie
Local expert: Peter Wassape (tbc)
11.00 - 11.30am Morning Tea
11.30 - 1.00pm Leadership skills in advocacy.
Using the media:
writing a media release
-presentation skills when using radio, television and newspapers

Chair: Lucy Hanson (tbc)
Presenter: Kevin Murphett
Local Expert: Ben Theodore
1.00 - 2.00pm Lunch
2.00 - 4.30pm Presenting your issues
- Writing articles, stories/case studies for awareness and fund raising, writing policy positions, developing organisation pamphlets for awareness raising .
Chair: Desmond Peng
Presenter: Marleen Nelisse
Tbc Garoka University writing skills person

7.00 - 8.30pm Using drama/theatre for community awareness raising
Round Round Theatre Group (tbc)

DAY FOUR: Thursday 30 October 2008
Time Session Facilitator/Trainers
9.00 – 10.30am PNGBU 2008 General Assembly Chair Anna Hitovea
Returning Officer: Kevin Murphett (Chair WBU Oceania sub-region)
Independent Observers Robyn McKenzie
10.30 - 11.00am Morning Tea
11.00 - 1.00pm Identification of key issues faced by PNGBU Chair: incoming President PNGBU
Co-facilitator: Petros or Anna (re gender balance)
1.00 - 2.00pm Lunch
2.00 - 4.30pm Prioritisation of Key issues for PNGBU to pursue over the coming year. Chair: incoming Vice President PNGBU
Co-Facilitator Dan Stubbs
4.30 - 5.00pm Closing
- overview of achievements and where to from here Chair: Incoming president and outgoing (Anna Hitovea)
governor Eastern Highlands Province and Kevin Murphet on behalf of WBU.


PNGBU Working Committee and other leaders in the blindness community.
Kevin Murphett, President Vision Australia, Chair World blind Union Oceania Sub- Region
Robyn McKenzie, CEO Blind Citizens Australia
Daniel Stubbs, social policy and organisation development consulting

An evaluation strategy will be developed for the PNGBU national Leadership Workshop in accordance with the objects it seeks to achieve. The three objects of the National leadership Workshop are:

1. Develop the capacity for a number of blind people to govern and manage their own organisation
2. Develop advocacy skills so that blind people can advocate for the rights of all blind people at the national and provincial level
3. Prioritise the key issues for the Executive Committee of the PNGBU to pursue over the coming year.

Local Experts
Each session has a ‘local expert’ as one of the presenters. These individuals have been chosen because of their expertise and knowledge in the field or their practical knowledge on the issues covered in that session. Local experts will therefore present on the issues from the perspective of how it may be done in PNG and/or provide examples/case studies/stories of how he or she has done this work in PNG.

The local expert may also need to put some of the more technical materials into language that is more accessible to the participants. That is, although all participants will speak English, the local expert will be on guard for any technical language that is used and either put it in terms that all participants can easily understand or ask the presenter to do so. By giving local examples, particularly using his/her own experiences, the local expert will show that Papua new Guineans can practice all the skills and enjoy all the knowledge that is being provided.
On the evening prior to the beginning of the workshop a Chairpersons briefing shall be held to advise them of their roles and responsibilities. The key responsibilities for the session chairs will be to:
1. ensure that their session begins on time regardless of how many participants are present – this will ensure that all participants quickly come to realize that session times will be strictly met;
2. introduce the session they are chairing and the presenters;
3. ensure that at least 20-30 minutes is available for questions and discussion at the end of each session – this will include advising presenters when they have only 5 minutes left to speak; and
4. ensuring that sessions finish on time.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Most Business travellers to PNG require a business visa. It gnerally costs about (US$170)K500. They are valid for a year, for individual visits of up to 60 days at a time.

Air Niugini has direct flights from Port Moresby to Brisbane, Honiara, Cains, Manila & Singapore () Airlines PNG now in partnership with Virgin Blue flies ti Brisbane and Cairns (0. Both airlines have online booking systems.

As a rule in PNG you ned to plan your travel carefully. Taxis Normal taxis are dirty and not considered particularly safe. If you do catch a regular cab, make sure you negotiate the fare before you depart! In Port Moresby, you are much better off calling one of these two premium services: Red Dot (tel 311 3257) or Scarlet Taxis ( 323 4266).
Car Hire: deal with one of the international names and ask to provide a driver. With poor state of roads, large vehicles are common place.
Avis +675 324 9400, Hertz + 675 302 6822, Thrifty + 675 325 5550.
Airport transfers: Upon arrival/departure in Port Moresby, any of the hotels listed in this section will provide a complimentary transfer. In Lae, the Guard Dog security firm runs shuttle bus servcies to and from the city which can be charged back to your hotel.

Leaving Port Moresby on businsess usually means getting an internal flight. There are regular services to Lae, the other major business centre. The price of domestic fares has dropped significantly in recent times and the earlier you book the better. Air Niugini now offers passengers the chance to book online but make sure you print out a copy of your receipt to show at the check-in counter as e-tickets are a recent phenomenon in PNG. The domestic terminal at Port Moresby's Jackson's Airport can be chaotic, so be prepared.

With the exceptions of the Highlands, PNG has tropical climate. The wet season in Port Moresby is from December to April.

PNG has a single time zone, 10 hours ahead of UTC/GMT (i.e. the same time as Brisbane).

The currency is the kina, There are ATM macjines at the International airport and also a bureau de change where you can obtain local currency using your credit card,as you can at most hotels. There are ATMs located around Port Moresby, LAe and other centres.

The current in PNG is 240V AC 50Hz using Australian style plugs.

PNG does a have reputation but things are nothing like as bad as portrayed in the overseas medi. If you take sensible precautions, you are unlikely to experience any trouble whatsoever.

In theory ther is malaria risk in Port Moresby although most expats based there do not take anti-malaria medication. If you are leaving urban ares, however, you should seek medical advice on this. In any case, bring strong repellent and use liberally if outdoors at night. When visiting PNG, it is imperative that you have comprehensive health cover.

Internet: In Port Moresby at least things have improve there wireless and broad band technolgy now in internet cafes and certain hotels in Port Moresby and other major centres. Dial-up services are also used in some centres.
Mobile: Telikom PNG operates BMobile and the new entrant to the market Digicel also operates in PNG.
Landlines: Service is improving in this area; rates for domestic calls at least are not too high, but overseas calls are a bit expensive.

Where to stay - Airways Hotel + 675 324 5200
Considered by many to be the best hotel in PNG, Airways Hotel is contained within a large compound next to the main airport,15 minutes from the CBD. there are three levels of hotel accommodation, including the luxurious Orhid Rooms and a wide range of facilities and dining options
Crowne Plaza + 675 309 3329
Offers luxury rooms and suites in the heart of the CBD. Modern gym, undercover parking, cafe and Mediterranean restaurant.
Holiday Inn + 675 303 2000
Located in the government district of Waigani, also offers luxury rooms and suites.
Ela Beach Hotel and Whittaker Apartments . The hotel has been renovated and now offers a servcied apartment option. The Ela Beach area is on the fringed of the CBD.

Asia Aromas: In the Staemships arcade, CBD. A Port Moresby institution serving execellent Thai and Chinese food, washed down with Australasian wines. You may need to make a reservation at lunch time.
Ichizen: in the Steamships arcade, CBD. Japanese restaurant serving excellent local sushi and teppanyaji.
Pallazo: this smart new Italian restaurant at the Lamana Hotel, Waigani, is receiving positive reviews. After dinner here, call into the slick Gold Club next door, the place to go at the weekend.
Royal Papua Yatch Club: Relaxed, spacious and open to non-members. Comfort food of a good standard and an open-plan bar area showing sport on large screens. Shirts need collar after 6 pm.
Cafe/snacks: Port Moresby. or 'Town'lacks street cafes, a symptom of the security situation. However, the Expresso Bar is hidden away behind the foyer of the Deloitte building (Douglas St). It is handy for a snack lunch if you are in the CBD, as is the cafe at the Crowne Plaza.
Bars: Among the expat community, alot of socialising is done at people's houses and at private clubs. However, popular bars include Pondo Tavern at the Crowne Palza, Ozzie bar at the Ela Beach Hotel and the Junction Tavern (Holiday Inn). Other than the Yatch Club above, the Golf Club and Port Moresby Country Club are popular meeting places.
Supermarket: Most expats go to the comparatively well-stocked Boroko Food World. Anderson's is another option, located just outside CBD.

Botanical Gardens, Waigani: This is worth a visit even if you have an hour to spare. Follow the broadwalk trail through the jungle and see wild orchids and displays of wildlife including the iconic tree kangaroo and casowary.
Loloata Island Resort:
A small resort in the Bootless Bay, 20km from Port Moresby. A comfortable day trip (transfers provided), or you can stay overnight. Offers diving, snorkelling, fishing.
Port Moresby Golf Club, Waigani A round of this well-maintained course, next to Parliament Haus, cost about K100 (US$34) and clubs can be hired.

PNG needs relevant HIV/AIDS strategies

I REFER to Dr Scarlett Epstein’s column in The National regarding the battle against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
She rightfully stated that “prevention has a full range of meanings” in PNG’s context and prevention strategies would vary depending on each target group.
The approach must be specific to get the maximum effect.
In PNG, this will be a mammoth task given more than 800 languages (and their respective cultures and subcultures) with the majority living in remote areas and the geographical terrain posing a challenge.
Then, consider the literacy, education and language barriers that one had to consider when developing appropriate “messages” to educate the people and contain this epidemic.
As such, would it not be relevant to carry out a comprehensive, indepth, objective and multi-disciplinary study into the cultural, social and economic situations to identify gaps based on which preventive measures would be drawn to minimise the impact of the AIDS tide in PNG?
This does not mean a quick “yes” or “no” survey in nightclubs, bars and at bus stops around urban areas which are believed to be the main “pick-up” points.
The study must include rural, urban and peri-urban areas covering the various cultural groupings taking into consideration but not limited to their social, economic and political situations and affiliations.
From the study, relevant strategies and measures must then be developed to address these problems.
Costs, resources, mechanisms, institutions and convenience would determine the type, extent and intensity of activities to prevent the epidemic.
But the truth of the matter remained that AIDS had been in PNG for over 20 years. The number of people infected is increasing despite huge sums of money and resources being spent by various organisations to address this issue.
If nothing of significance was done now to stop the AIDS tide, PNG could be in a worse position in 10 years as stated by the Centre for Independent Studies report, which suggested that the disease could strike one million people in PNG by 2020 and the National AIDS Secretariat’s estimation that 200,000 people would be infected by 2012.
Not surprisingly, in a couple of independent researches conducted previously in rural areas in PNG, most people, when asked if they were at risk of AIDS, said that “HIV is only for people living in towns and prostitutes; we are living in the villages are OK”.
Being that ignorant and having a strong leaning towards cultural beliefs of sorcery and witchcraft, Dr Epstein might be correct in saying that HIV/AIDS could have a positive relationship with sorcery-related killings.
But due to the increasing rural urban migration, sorcery-related killings were also evident in towns like Lae as reported in the media recently.
Therefore, we need more comprehensive studies as Dr Epstein indicated to establish the correlation between these two social phenomena. And, there might be other determining factors as well.
Are these people more vulnerable because of their ignorance and strong cultural belief of witchcraft while, in some of these areas, promiscuity is a traditional norm?
How should they be addressed?
That is where social action research comes in.
While HIV/AIDS is a medical disease and will need a medical cure, its preventive strategies would be social (cultural) as the right information was needed to educate, empower and give ownership of the problem to the respective target groups using participatory approaches.
Is it not true that when AIDS is mentioned, the first (or second next) thing that comes to one’s mind is sex? It is something imprinted in one’s mind, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
The people must be made to see AIDS as a disease that kills, just like TB.
And rather than wasting valuable time talking about the means of transmission, the root cause – the lack of prevention – must be well understood.
Lastly, AIDS is not only a medical problem but a social, cultural, political and economical problem.
It can affect anyone regardless of academic or professional background, economic status, etc.
Like global warming, we must all work together to help minimise this global problem, as the saying goes “think locally, act globally”.

Paul Hukahu Jr
Port Moresby

Friday, September 19, 2008

Cassava project brings development to Central province

The nursery site with young cassava plants which will be later planted in the blocks.

THE Central province is set to become a major producer of an income earning product that can bring in millions of kina from a humble crop known as the cassava.
The 20,000 hectares of land for the cassava bio-fuel project is located along the Magi Highway beginning at Saroakeina and stretching all the way out towards the Launakalana station.
There is interest among landowners to extend the project across to the Abau side.
Changhae Tapioka (PNG) Ltd the developer of the multi-million kina cassava bio-fuel project is looking at exporting its first lot of cassava chips to South Korea in the next year to be processed onto ethanol or bio-fuel and the next five years will see the establishment of its own ethanol factory on the cassava estate.
Signboards along the highway advertise the project which has brought major infrastructure development into the Rigo district.
The first “Cassava Bio-fuel Project” signboard is located at Kwikila at the corner of the junction that leads to the provincial government offices and the road that leads to Kupiano.
The other larger one welcoming everyone is erected at the top of the Bannon Bridge where the mighty Kemp Welch River flows past Saroakeina village.
The third signboard is clearly positioned at the front entrance to the cassava projects nursery and multiplication site.
The cassava project has become very popular among the villagers, most of whom are engaged in subsistence gardening, fishing and hunting to survive.
Economic activities involve trade stores and the sale of garden produce and betelnut at Kwikila or in Port Moresby.
Changhae Tapioka (PNG) Ltd is set to bring about tangible economic developments and benefits to the Central province. With the new environmental trends for cleaner source of energy, cassava has been identified for the production of ethanol as an additive to petrol. The ethanol from cassava can also be used in the manufacture of liquors and spirits. Hence cassava is also emerging as a potential high value cash crop.
The Changhae Group in South Korea is one of the leading manufacturers and consumers of ethanol.
With a projected internal requirement of about 70,000 tons of cassava and capability to find markets for an additional 70,000 tons, Changhae Tapioka (PNG) Ltd is the gate way to international markets.
PNG has the right climate and soil condition for this particular crop and more local farmers need to be encouraged to boost the cultivation of cassava.
The PNG Government is aware of the potential of this particular crop and through its Green Revolution Policy has resolved to engage the private sector in a mutually profitable private/public partnership This is also consistent with governments policy on poverty alleviation and rural empowerment.
The Government is fully supportive of this project after the signing of an MOU in 2005 and since than have identified and made available suitable agricultural and industrial land for cassava cultivation and ethanol production which will be the cornerstone of the projects success.
Already 20,000 hectares of land has been acquired in the Rigo area for development of the cassava bio-fuel project and this has steadily been in progress since the ground breaking ceremony officiated by the Prime Minister Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare in Bore last year.
Operations have been progressing steadily and part of the company’s incentive to provide job opportunities, training, and community service has fallen into place. The company is currently developing its estate and nursery from the 100 hectares that have been allocated for this purpose from the 20,000 hectares acquired.
Over 40 staff are employed on the estate with more to join as the estate expands.
Also there to conduct hands on industrial training are eight students from the University of Technology in Lae, Morobe province.
The third year Agriculture Science students from different parts of the country were happy to be attached to the project and contributing to the pioneering of this agro-industrial project.
The students are on a three months industrial attachment at the project site.
Their training consists of project management (practical and theory) and research methods. In order to carry out their research the students were allocated blocks to develop.
“The project plan we chose was to engage in project management practices and as such four hectares was allocated to us to develop and manage,” said Enara Enara, team leader of the students.
Planting materials (cassava stalks) were also needed for their blocks and the students managed to obtain this from local villagers in Maopa and Gavuone where two of the students came from.
Awareness was done about the value of the crop and what benefits it can bring for the villagers with this new industry and the local villagers were willing to help by supplying the planting materials.
The company also assisted the students in purchasing basic food items such as bales of rice, flour, sugar, and packets of tea. These goods the students exchanged with villagers for cassava stalks.
“We were not expecting such gifts as this. All we wanted was to help supply the students with their planting materials as we know that the cassava project will bring a lot of development to the Central province,” said Lua Teru from Gavuone village.
The students managed to obtain 18,000 cuttings of cassava stalks totaling more than the target number of 16,000 which they had estimated to collect from the two villages.
They attributed this to the general interest of the villagers after learning about the cassava bio-fuel project.
The local village women also provided the students with valuable information on their gardening methods and the different varieties that were available, which also came in handy for the student’s research project.
“We were able to obtain 7 different local varieties, some with fast high yielding rate, effective planting methods from the local gardeners for fast germination, advantages and disadvantages of cassava with other crops and major diseases that affect most cassava along the Central province” said Enara.
Changhae’s nursery and multiplication site is basically to produce planting materials for the plantation and the students input into this project were welcomed by the company.
Travelling along the highway to the cassava plantation is easily accessible as it is sealed all the way except for the deteriorating condition of some of the bridges along the way which have been long overdue for repair.
Recently two of the bridges along the highway within the vicinity of Saroakeina were reconstructed by workmen from the cassava estate.
Equipment such as generator, oxy, power drill and grinder were provided to make the job efficient and by afternoon two of the bridges had their old rotting timbers on the railway replaced and bolted with new timber.
The first bridge usually a nightmare for the travelling public had its base bolted with timber on its iron as well as the cross sections at the bottom replaced with new timber.

* The writer is the Information Officer- Changhae Tapioka (PNG) Ltd.

NTS the right step for a viable film industry in PNG

NBC Managing Director Joseph Ealedona and Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare at the launching of National Television Service.

SEPTEMBER 16, 1975, was indeed a momentous occasion for Papua New Guinea as we gained our independence from Australia.
And September 16, 2008, was likewise a significant date on PNG’s calendar as the country finally received its long-overdue television station.
The common denominator in both 1975 and 2008 was that Sir Michael Somare was there was prime minister.
I was also there in 1975 as an eight-year-old child in Goroka, and now, as a 41-year-old widower and father of four young children in Port Moresby.
“The dawn of a new era”...”proud moment for PNG”...”the world will now know PNG” were some of the phrases used on Tuesday this week to describe the launch of the State-owned television station in Wewak, East Sepik province.
The National Television Service (NTS) was switched on at the Port Moresby studio at exactly 6pm after the ceremonial launch in Wewak by Sir Michael.
Large screens were set up in Goroka, Mount Hagen, Rabaul and Port Moresby to watch the new service of mostly pre-recorded programmes.
As the TV screens assembled outside the NBC Wewak studios showed the live transmission in front of Sir Michael and invited guests, the Prime Minister hugged 10-year-old Manus twins, Debbie and Barbie Sipasan, and watched the screen with a big smile.
National Broadcasting Commission managing director Joseph Ealedona shed a few tears - overwhelmed with emotion to see the success of two years of hard work.
In Port Moresby, as I watched the transmission, I was likewise overwhelmed with emotion like my journalism classmate Joe and tears rolled down my eyes as my children asked me why I was crying.
It had taken so long, and at last, Sir Michael had lived up to his words by delivering an independence gift of a national television station on September 16, 2008.
The night started off with Yumi Yet, a nostalgic look at footage from September 16, 1975, moments forever etched in time.
This was followed by an address to the nation by Sir Michael on the setting up of NTS.
Then came Angels of War, a balanced view of WW11 from both the Allied and Japanese perspectives, with snippets from Papua New Guinea’ fuzzy wuzzy angels’, members of the Pacific Islands Battalion, as well as heroes like East Sepik’s Yauwiga with his one arm and blue eye, courtesy of an Australian donour.
Young Goroka-based journalist, Llane Munau, got the show running by introducing Chris Owen’s Betelnut Bisnis, a documentary on the trials and tribulations of his security guard, a wannabe buai tycoon.
The night ended off with Tin Pis Ran, starring my old Lae buddy and ex Aiyura National High School schoolmate, Oscar Wanu, a skit on the adventures of an old man, his offsider, his daughter and his happy-go-lucky PMV truck.
Communications Minister Patrick Tammur pulled down the curtain on a fine night of entertainment by committing the station to a lot of local content.
I asked myself, after watching all the PNG content, why we don’t have a viable film industry in the country after all these years.
EMTV also had the opportunity to promote local content for more than 20 years but failed miserably,
These days, with the advent of television, video, VCDs and the Internet, the movie projector has become as antiquated as the time-honoured typewriter.
Kids today have become virtual couch potatoes, intoxicated by daily doses of foreign programmes like Neighbours, Bay Watch and Mr Bean.
The 70’s that I grew up in was an epoch of PNG classics like Wokabaut Bilong Tonten, Marabe, and the later Tukana: Husat I Asua, to name but a few.
Documentaries like First Contact, Shark Callers of Kontu, the satirical Cannibal Tours and Trobriand Cricket won acclaim both here and overseas.
There were also local productions on the likes of agriculture, health, family planning and small business - seemingly destined for greatness.
The missionary zeal of the now-defunct Office of Information needs to be rekindled.
In those days, officers carried projectors to rural areas and showed development films, meaning that people actually participated in development.
When the government abolished the OI, PNG started having problems because information on development wasn’t getting out to the people, particularly the vast majority in the rural areas,
Sadly, as is the case with most things in PNG since September 16, 1975, things have fallen along the wayside.
In 2000, I wrote a series of articles for The National out of Goroka for PNG’s silver jubilee, one of which was an interview with local filmmaker Rodney Sinaune: “If the government seriously looks at the importance of this industry, it will help a lot in the development process.
“People will be educated if we use the mass media; they will become equal partners in development.
“There have been many productions made about PNG (by expatriates), but we are not supporting a local industry.
“People from overseas are gaining mileage out of us.
“We should have local content and participation.
“The need is there, the demand is there, but the government needs to give proper direction.
“The government should also look at setting up another TV station, as there’s a lot of material being produced, but no medium over which to broadcast.
“It should, perhaps, also look at the creation of a National Film Commission.
“If the National Executive Council, through an Act of Parliament, creates a National Film Commission, everything will be alright.
“The film industry will also employ a lot of people.
“The government, for far too long, has overlooked the industry.
“Bureacratic red tape is also a big problem.”
I know that film makers like Chris Owen, Rodney Sinaune, Leonie Kanawi, Ignatius Talania, Baike Johnston, and many others, will finally breathe a sigh of relief with the setting up of NTS.
It is, perhaps, a case of ‘better late than never’ as Sir Michael has finally seen the plight of the people of this country and set up a TV station, which will also hopefully create a strong local film industry, in the twilight of his career.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Greenpeace gets blasting

FORMER Gulf governor Riddler Kimave has slammed the recent interference of logging operations in Kikori, Gulf province, by activist Greenpeace ship, Esperanza, descri-bing it as “economic terrorism”.
Two weeks ago, Greenpeace environmental activists protested aboard a logging ship that was bound for China.
Mr Kimave said the arrival of Esperanza on Sept 3 sabotaged legitimate logging operations in the east and west Omati and east and west Sirebe sites in Kikori.
Mr Kimave is the principle landowner of the Dokovi clan in west Omati.
He said he had, in the early 1980s, negotiated with the State to usher in much-needed services and development with the help of logging company, Turama Forest Industries (TFI).
Forest management agreements were signed between the Omati and Sirebe landowners, State and TFI for commercial logging to take place.
“It is about time the Government takes a bold stand against Greenpeace who had made it their business to taint legitimate legal logging operations to capture media attention worldwide,” Mr Kimave said.
He added that the timber industry in Kikori was a major contributor to development in the district apart from the Kutubu and Gobe projects and the Government must stop outside interference.
The timber rent issued by the State to TFI was to harvest logs and provide appropriate premium payments, royalties and annual benefits to the locals and pay school fees for children attending school under forest management agreements.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Truely Unique

I was invited by the Head Teacher of the Ward Strip Demonstration Elementary School to attend and witness the school’s cultural show this morning from 8 to 12pm.

The school children were all divided into the four regions, Highlands, Islands, Momase and Southern to take part.

I was part of a small crowd of about a thousand including parents, teachers, friends and relatives that gathered despite the heat of the sun to witness the show.

Mrs. L Turia when giving her opening remarks said, “PNG is truely blessed with the diverse cultures and so many languages and tridtions, furthermore the school decided to host this event as one of the curriculum is based on the cultures/traditions of Papua New Guinea”.

I have decided to post these above pictures for those who read this post to know that even the kids here in Papua New Guinea can sing and dance like their older people.

Frustrated with your PC

There are many reasons why your computer could be running

I’m myself pretty much a hard core computer user,couple of friends have mentioned that if a new computer needs to be tested in just a couple of hours, it should be given to me. Simply because my normal computer workload is pretty much at maximum at all times. I have Mozilla FireFox open with 20-50 different tabs, couple of Adobe Acrobat windows, couple of word files, Editplus (text editor) with 30 tabs, plus of course Adobe Photoshop, mail programs, MSN and these are just the main things.

So if a PC has a reason to strike for some reason, it should definitely be my computer. However, luckily I haven’t really had any big problems except for speed issues due to my hardcore memory and CPU consumption.

Most of the ‘computer speed up’ software out there focuses only on ONE problem area, but with a user like me, its far from enough. Products like “PC Doctor” and “Registry Fixer” are decent products but they leave a lot of your computer’s speed potential unused (I know that after I have tested the product PC Secret Formula).

PC Secret Formula system covers all important areas so your computer is literally forced to perform at maximum speed and that’s why I would definitely recommend the PC Secret Formula to everyone who
feels their computer is running slower than it could be should be.

While I use my laptop around 16 hours a day, I haven’t really done much to keep it running fast and safe. I run a firewall and
anti-virus software. In the past I have tried some spyware software pieces,
registry cleaners and so on, but overall they haven’t done much good, some of them have actually screwed up my computer.

And this makes me happy to see a tested product, which teaches me how to do it all safely. At least for me it worked like a treat, really made my PC faster again and at the same time didn’t cause it to blow up or anything like that. Did you know that some anti-virus software
might make your computer virus-free but at the same time take up so much of your PC resources that it makes your computer reaaaly slow?

Using PC Secret Formula

PC Secret Formula has been designed so that you run through the entire program step by step. First you get your machine cleaned up and to get familiar with ware (btw, all the software names there are freeware, so no extra costs). It takes some time the first go around but it’s very clearly explained. You’ll learn exactly what to do and most importantly, what NOT to do. How to use the software and a number of built-in Windows utilities to fix your slow computer. After that there’s a regular maintenance plan outlined that will take much less time but will keep your machine in great shape.

Usually people charge a lot for just a registry cleaner, but in this package, its included! With this program you really get your money’s worth plus more.

What I didn’t like about PC Secret Formula?

After going through the system I’d say there are one things that I don’t like about it. Firstly, being a hardcore computer user I know enough about computers as well as different tasks. What I don’t know much about is how to speed up my computer, I know a few things but I haven’t really had any time to work on obtaining knowledge in that area. And here I’d like to see special chapters that would be combined of the section of the book.

There could be like 3 different combinations, one for hardcore users like me, another for intermediate PC user and finally one for hardcore amateur. Right now the sections of PC Secret.

Formula all together last just a bit less than an hour’s read, but for me it
would be enough to have a 10-15 to get straight to the point.
PC Secret Formula has easy-to-follow,professionally produced and well put together ebook, but in addition to that, every single chapter also has notes attached which provide additional notes that will further enhance your PC’s performance. So i f your computer is running slow and you want to speed it up today, PC Secret Formula is the system you should use.


On a Wing and a Prayer

* CHRIS Karma Kaines, from Gassam village on Siassi Island, Morobe province, died in a mysterious Cessna 206 plane crash in the mountains of Myola, along the Kokoda Trail, on Thursday, August 7, this year, on his return from Goilala. *

CHRIS Karma Kaines, from Gassam village on Siassi Island, Morobe province, died in a mysterious Cessna 206 plane crash in the mountains of Myola, along the Kokoda Trail, on Thursday, August 7, this year, on his return from Goilala.
There are several unanswered questions as to the flight plan given to the Civil Aviation Authority, the air worthiness of the Cessna, why the operator has disappeared since the death of Chris, is there any truth that Chris was carrying mercury and a large amount of money when he crashed, and many more, including questions on the involvement of certain groups and individuals.
Reporters probing the crash been hitting a brick wall at CAA when trying to get information on the crash.
Chris was a very experienced aviator, whose feats are the stuff of legend, including busting gun smuggling operations in Western province with police, once landing on the Hiritano Highway when his engine failed, who in 2006 year flew a private plane from the USA to PNG, and whose ambition in life was to buy his own plane and run a charter operation.
His best friends were from Butibam village in Lae, and he grew up with us in the 70’s and 80’s, played with us, and drank with us as we were all one family until his tragic passing.
His best mate was fellow pilot and school mate, Sao Maliaki, from Butibam and who flies for Airlines PNG.
We will always remember this athletic, handsome and easy-going young man who had a huge passion for life.
I remember flying with him once to remote Kabwum in the mountains of Morobe in 1994, and despite the weather and mountains, Chris’s good humour kept me going all the way.
That was the nature of the man.
Chris Kaines was born at Minj in the Western Highlands province but grew up at Mendi in Southern Highlands,
His father was a police sergent from Siassi while his mother was from Iokea village in the Gulf province,
Chris was a very experienced aviator.
After his training in a private flying school in Australia, self-sponsored, he flew crop dusters.
He flew for various charter operators in PNG.
Once, he ran into engine trouble and landed somewhere near Yule Island, on the Hiritano Highway, and after repairs, took off again.
When police needed an aircraft and a pilot to bust a gun-smuggling operation in the Western province side of the border, they were recommended Chris as the pilot and they still speak highly of that operation and the skills of the pilot.
He had a stint with Rimbunan Hijau during which time he flew regularly between Port Moresby and the Western province.
“Chris was a very adventurous person,” said his brother-in-law and Post-Courier journalist Newman Cuthbert, who delivered the eulogy at his funeral service at Marimari Lutheran Church in Port Moresby last week, before the body was taken home to Siassi,
“He never joined Air Niugini or a commercial airline because he wanted to be in command of his own aircraft.
“He was not cut out to cart passengers but was attracted by the prospect of flying into remote locations and challenged the dangers of the weather and dangerous terrain of PNG head on.
“Chris always told my missus - his sister - when she told him time and time again of her concern of him operating small aircraft in remote locations: ‘Big sis I know what I am doing’.
“Danger and death was the most remote thing on all our minds for Chris.
“He had a lot of friends - those he grew up with and kept close to his roots.
“When logging was introduced to Siassi and as part of a family of principal land owners, Chris expressed concern about illegal logging and made it known at family discussions that the family members at home should never be manipulated by foreign logging companies but should benefit.
“‘We must receive our share of royalties but our old people must benefit before their time is up’ he used to tell missus.
“Chris left his first wife Betty and married her cousin also called Betty from whom he had three children.
“The father passed away two years ago and Chris flew his body home to Siassi.
“As a child he loved adventure movies like cowboys and Indians, and if there was something that looked complicated, he wanted to know what made it work.
“Recently, with another pilot friend, he took delivery of an aircraft from the USA and flew it home to PNG.
“His ambition was to buy his own plane and operate a charter company.
“He wanted the family and clan involved and we were all in the process of looking at that prospect.
“His best friends came from Butibum.
“He grew up with them, played with them drank with them and it was his other family.”
In fact, the last time I met him was in May this year, shortly after the death of my wife, during which time he passed his condolences and told me that I must be strong for my children.
He reminisced with us from Butibam that night, over a couple of beers, about his many adventures all over the country as a pilot, including Bougainville during the crisis.
For one thing, all of us Chris’s mates from Butibam and Lae, now that he died doing what he loved best.
Rest in Peace, old buddy!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


* Work starts on Prince Charles Oval *

THE ball has started rolling for the construction of the first state of the art sports stadium in Papua New Guinea, funded by the people and government of China.
A ground breaking ceremony to mark the start of the first scope of work for the stadium at Prince Charles Oval was performed by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare on Saturday in the presence of the Chinese ambassador to PNG Wei Ruixing and a Chinese technical team on site, Finance and Treasury Minister Patrick Pruaitch, Wewak Open MP Jimmy Simatab and the people of East Sepik province.
Sir Michael, who delivered the keynote address, said the stadium was a wonderful gesture from the government and people of China to his Sepik people, who had supported him through his political career to establish bilateral relations with China in 1976.
He said his people and the people of Papua New Guinea in general were now benefiting from that relations he established.
“PNG and China had developed this good relationship over the years culminating in billions of dollars in aid and trade,” he said.
“The Chinese government provides aid of US$1.3 billion (K3.4 billion) annually to developing countries in the Pacific,” he said.
“The stadium is part of this aid package to Papua New Guinea, particularly the Sepik people on the eve of PNG’s Independence Day celebrations.”
Sir Michael said the people of East Sepik were very privileged to receive a special gift from the Chinese government besides the already established stadiums in Port Moresby and Lae, which are useful in promoting and developing sports among the people.
The Chinese ambassador said besides infrastructure development, China also supported PNG’s education, health, social and economic development sectors.
He said more Chinese enterprises including the Ramu nickel project in Madang were now established in PNG to complement the bilateral relations the two countries enjoyed.
The ambassador also congratulated Sir Michael on his 40 years in politics, adding he was not only the founding father of PNG, but a great leader, who was guiding his country through the challenging road of development and prosperity.