Thursday’s groundbreaking in Morobe Province was an opportunity for them to voice their concerns to the Prime Minister and his delegation.
Jobbie Ferea is the chairman of the nine clans of Gabsongkec Village in Wampar LLG, where the Nadzab Airport is.
He said though the airport services the country’s second largest city, dubbed as PNG’s industrial hub, they have no hospitals, no proper running water, they need electricity and quality infrastructure.
They wish to change their status from ‘mere spectators’ to ‘active participants’ in the K692 million Nadzab Airport Redevelopment Project. However, just like in the past years, they have been hitting a brick wall.
“Mipla lukim olsem mipla nogat speis lo kam insait,” he stated. “Mipla traim lo ogenaisim mipla yet lo kam insait na patisipeit bat i nogat wanpla man olsem NAC o kain olsem ol kontrektas ya, ol i no openim do lo mipla kam insait na olsem, kamap liklik sabkontrektas na patisipeit insait lo disla bikpla divelepment.
“Taim mipla go lo gavana na ol lain blo em ol tok, mipla no save lo disla projek, em nesenel gavman wokim. Husat nau ba mipla toktok wantem lo teikim ap grivenses blo mipla go lo nesenel level?”
Their concerns were voiced by local MP, Ross Seymour, who appealed to the Civil Aviation Minister, Lekwa Gure, and Governor Ginson Saonu, to involve the landowners.
Seymour said though they host many projects, one of which will be the 14km Wafi-Golpu pipeline, benefits are yet to drizzle down to them.
“Plis inap yupla lukluk lo disla? Especially lo ol landowners. Landowners ol i bel pen na ol i sanap autsaid i stap. Ol i no kam lo hia. Nogut yupla ting olgeta samting em i go stret.”
In his speech, Prime Minister James Marape acknowledged the landowners’ concerns, telling Seymour that they are willing to commence discussions with him.
“Let me point to the landowners, let me point to the Huon Gulf district, let me point to Markham district, let me point to Morobe Provincial Government; we will partner in making Nadzab not only an airport centre but Nadzab will have an associated city infrastructure built around Nadzab,” said the PM.
Funding for the project, which will be led by Japanese private firm, Dai Nippon-Nippo Joint Venture, consists of approximately K578 million from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, and PNG Government counterpart funding of K114 million.
The project is expected to be completed in November 2022.
(Wampar LLG leaders making their way to the groundbreaking site whilst their people watch from a distance)