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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

THE COMPANY IS OUR GOVERNMENT

There are no signs of Government services in this part of the country. The government abdicated responsibility to the company. It is one of the remote, vast and least developed provinces in Papua New Guinea. Kamusie is in the Bamu Rural Local Level Government (LLG) of Balimo in the Western Province, Rimbunan Hijau (RH) operates as Wawoi Guavi Timber Company (WGTC). It provides basic services like education,air transport, communication, and most importantly health services in that area for over 20 years.

The company has provided sawn timber, machinery works, and other construction materials for the construction/establishment of facilities like churches, Community Halls, Aid posts/Clinics, Accomodation for the aid posts personnel, improvement/upgrading of the existing airstrips, sports playing fields including basket ball court.

The following villages have been beneficiaries of the above; Kopalasi, Musula, Bibisa, Gagoro, Wareho, Matakaya, Sogae,Wawoi Falls, Haivaro, Parieme, Diwame and Kubeai. In reference to Kasigi (Wawoi Falls) the company 'fulfilled' its obligations 'to assist in the provision of of sawn timber' for school classrooms sawn timber and some roofing iron as an example.

Rimbunan Hijau spent K230,000 between 1992 and 1994 or an average of around K19,000 per year. As this figure does not include the cost of doctor at the Panakakwa and Kamusie sites, health spending by RH at Wawoi Guavi could have amounted to almost half of the comparable spending in that area by Western Province Government. The "author" was in Kamusie and asked few land owners about the non-existence of government service presence in the area and was surprise to hear that "the company is our government". They mentioned that even after 20 years plus of the logging operations they are still way back like in the precolonial days. There are only seven teachers in Kamusie 4 for the upper primary and 3 for the lower primary students. At times they do not teach, school kids go and wait till lunch time and go back home. It is evident there is no presence of banking services for teachers to access their salaries. There is now discussions underway for a Micro Bank to be established in Kamusie with the assistance from