Friday, November 18, 2011

Survey exposes rural poverty

Source: The National, Friday 18th November 2011
By SALLY POKITON
UPNG journalism student


A SURVEY has shown that 73% of people in rural areas are illiterate, men have an average life expectancy of 52 years, while 23% walk for four hours to the nearest health centre, a doctorate researcher with the Australian National University (ANU) says.
Researcher Cate Rogers said the survey conducted last year with 262 families representing 1,726 people in the Yelia area of Obura-Wonenara district in Eastern Highlands, showed that rural poverty still existed despite the much talked about LNG project that would generate billions of kina for the country.
This was revealed at the ANU and CARE international launching of the report, Rural poverty in remote
Papua New Guinea, at the National Research Institute in Port Moresby yesterday.
Rogers said the integrated community development project baseline survey showed a vast majority (72%) had traditional child births, with no trained birth assistants present while children under five were estimated to have a mortality rate of 191 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Rogers said the findings showed a literacy rate of 27% was almost 30% below the national level of 56% and 17% below the Eastern Highlands provincial level of 44%, according to NRI.
“76% earned less than K100 from coffee sales due to their location and the distance travelled to sell their produce,” Rogers said.
She said women, on the other hand, had a higher average life expectancy of 65 years.
Obura-Wonenara district administrator Erinu Kasong said rural people were being neglected.
He said the government and partners should go into a joint effort to address the issue of poverty in rural areas

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