Thoughts on what 2012 might hold for the Pacific
On asking a bloke to write some words

Up close and personal in Hanuabada

Hanuabada MartBY MARTYN NAMORONG

I AM SITTING AT THE TABLE going through the photos I have taken earlier at Hanuabada.

I’ve made myself a cup of sweet black coffee and filled a glass of cold water to cool myself down after drinking my coffee.

My phone buzzes and I check the message.  My friend in Lae sends a message quoting Aristotle.  I’ve never read Aristotle so I send back a rather confused message and browse through the photographs.

There are the four Dubu – totem poles set up to signify the beginning of Hanuabada village including Elevala, although proud Elevalans obstinately prefer being identified separately from Hanuabadans.

The four Dubu form two gates facing each other. The gates remind me of the Sun gates to eternity found in Oriental and Mayan cultures.  A power pole stands rather abusively close to the four poles.

I’m at Hanuabada with my buddy Nou, a brilliant blogger and law student, and Vladislav, a Russian freelance photographer.

Vladislav wanted to photograph the Wanigela houses at Koki but I told him I could arrange for something at Hanuabada since I don’t know any Wanigelas at Koki.

In any case I thought we’d get a few shots of the signature houses on stilts and leave.

Well, Nou gave us a grand tour of the Big Village and Vlad found many interesting subjects to photograph as I tagged along beside these two larger than life characters.

The Big Village gave us the Nation’s Capital and is perhaps the cradle of nationhood given the fact that Erskine declared British Dominion here and the colonial government set up shop nearby.

Hanuabada encapsulates in many ways, the contrasts and contradictions of Papua New Guinea.

Even with its rusted tin roofs and close proximity to the CBD, it has wobbly bridges linking homes stilted above water and is a very traditional conservative Motuan village.

Brand new vehicles drive past rusty old homes built by allied forces after World War II. And after over 200 years of colonisation/urbanisation I heard Motu being spoken at Hanuabada.

The villagers are very friendly. On a warm sunny Sunday afternoon they sleep peacefully in their naturally air conditioned homes and on the bridges.

The cool sea breeze provides respite from the scorching Sun albeit with a touch of olfactory nuisance from the garbage piled under the homes.

The buildup of garbage is related to the changing onshore currents as the shoreline of Port Moresby Harbour is modified by reclamation of land from the sea.

These land reclamation projects have caused deviations in the onshore currents thus causing deposition of wastes at Elevala instead of sweeping them out to sea.

Obviously, Nasfund isn’t going to dig up Harbour City but its project may be causing the tort of nuisance to the people of Hanuabada if it can be proven that the extension of reclaimed land has modified onshore currents leading to the creation of a public health hazard.

Source: The Namorong Report

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