Saturday, January 19, 2013

Wahgi River threatens to wash away road

Friday 18th January 2013

By PEARSON KOLO

HALF the section of the Highlands highway, along the new Jiwaka province, has been washed away by the flooded Waghi River early this week.
And if heavy rains continue in the Western Highlands and Jiwaka province, where a quarter of their population are flooded and under water now, the remaining road will be washed away completely, putting a halt to moving traffic.
The Jiwaka Provincial Administration has declared a state of emergency along that section of the road and has engaged police to control the flow of traffic along the highway.
Major companies like ExxonMobil, Waghi Valley Transport and several trucking companies who use the Highlands highway have come together to fix the road. They have decided to divert the Waghi River away from the road, but that will take some time because landowners from Waghi Bruk, the affected section of the road are demanding some form of payment from the Government and companies before work can begin.
Officials from the Jiwaka Provincial Administration, the Western Highlands and Chimbu Provincial Government with officials from major trucking companies have held discussions with the landowners on Wednesday.
Nothing good has come out from those meetings.
Waghi Valley Transport has provided 15 containers which will be packed with boulders and placed the along Waghi river to redirect its course.
The Post-Courier was at the scene assessing the condition of the road and observed that the remaining section of the road will be washed away if nothing is done soon to divert the river away from the road.

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