|My Land, My Country
KEREMA - Gulf Province is only six hours away from Port Moresby and is one of the most least developed provinces in the country.
Its main town, Kerema, is in a sad state. The market has closed forcing locals to sell fresh fish and garden food in an open sports field.
The BSP Bank closed after a robbery, forcing locals to withdraw cash from Chinese shops in town.
The town is littered with outsiders who have come to town to buy betel nut. There should be laws governing the influx of betel nut buyers to protect the locals.
And I think it’s time the Town Authority sat down and looked at rehabilitating existing infrastructure.
The Provincial Government should also help find and establish markets for fish with buyers outside the province, because Gulf has a lot to offer in the fisheries sector.
Despite having projects like logging and cocoa for years, Gulf Province has little to show in terms of development.
People still walk for miles from their villages to access basic services. There is no sea ambulance, many times pregnant mothers give birth at home and some die. For them it is an everyday experience.
In terms of law and order, Gulf does not have a jail. Detainees are transported to Port Moresby’s Bomana Jail, an expensive exercise.
People take advantage of this, knowing that only the serious cases will be prosecuted.
There are a lot of educated Gulf men and women in PNG, and we are tolerant.
We see, we complain but we do nothing. Most choose to turn a blind eye to the state of their province and live in luxury in Port Moresby.
I say this with a lot of shame because I am honest enough to admit that I have never been home, never written about my province.
And today I have come. And I want to write.
It’s time to tell Gulf Stories.
Rebecca Kuku is from Uaripi Village in Gulf. She is a content contributor to Guardian Australia and the Post Courier