Kokoda Development Program: 2008-2009

Trekking companies have been advised by the Department of Environment, Heritage, Water and the Art of the following achievements by the Kokoda Development Program since November 2008:

Water and Sanitation
• Completion of a water supply system at Efogi health centre
• Feasibility study for Naoro-Manari water supply completed. Water testing needs to be repeated, before final scoping and costs are determined (construction scheduled to will then be set)
• Toilet construction training for six community people to install toilets at all schools in Kokoda and along the Track

Communication
• Communications – upgrading of the radio network in five villages along the track (Efogi, Naoro 1 and 2, Launumu, Enivilogo)

Health
• major clean up at Kokoda District Health Centre, including provision of additional medical and cleaning equipment and infection control training
• health supplies distributed to clinics
• more than 150 children vaccinated
• training (‘Kick Start’) for all health workers from facilities along the Track completed
• 21 Village Health Volunteers (representatives from Kokoda, Hoi, Kovelo, Isurava, Alola, Abuari ) have completed their training and are now provisionally qualified, to be confirmed and registered after 3 months.
• 23 Village Health Volunteers now qualified from Kagi, Naduri, Efogi, Enivilogo, Manari, Naoro, Launumu
• completion of the first health patrol of the Kokoda area for more than a decade (monthly patrols from Kokoda HC commenced)
• completion of 2nd & 3rd Patrol for Efogi area
• installation of EPI refrigerator at Efogi
• HIV/AIDs forum held
• Clean-up day Sogeri health centre
• Clinical training continuing at Efogi and Kokoda

Education/Training
• teachers flown into villages for the start of the 2009 school year
• school curriculum materials distributed (22 schools)

Other community activities
• Kokoda village sports program completed – representatives from schools and wards trained and sports equipment provided, Isurava, Alola
• Sports equipment provided at Kovelo, Abuari
• Women’s Leadership and organisational training program completed – women trained from Kokoda, Hoi, Kovelo, Isurava, Alola, Abuari, Vesulogo
• Community programs – sewing and cooking classes held – Hoi, Kovelo, Isurava, Alola, Abuari
• Sewing machines – Abuari

Comments

  1. This is great stuff but it is what one would expect out of our normal aid budget.

    I have a number of concerns in regard to the process used to determine the need for the projects, the priority of each one, and the obvious lack of consultation and co-ordination with trek operators who have generated more than A$2 million in campsite fees for villagers over the past five years.

    A co-ordinated plan could have resulted in village communities working in partnership with aid agencies to develop all of these structures and deliver all of the services required in regard to health, education and sport. This would have allowed the above facilities and services to be developed in more needy villages off the track.

    Kovovo, a small school in a valley between Kagi and Naduri villages is a good example of aid that makes us feel good – but has little effect on the lives of villagers. The school originally had a number of comfortable classrooms built out of bush material. When I used to trek through the area in the early 1990s there were always work-parties from both villagers building classrooms and preparing gardens.

    Some time in the mid-1990s an aid agency built three large classrooms with proper timber materials and roofing iron. The buildings were almost finished when work stopped. They sat unfinished and unused for around a decade.

    I suggested to the village leaders that they organise a work-party to finish the buildings. They advised me that they did not own them – they were AusAID buildings!

    The distribution of school curriculum materials distributed to 22 schools is another interesting example. I have tried to find out which schools are government schools, which are community schools, the grades and numbers of teachers and students in each village along the track for at least 10 years. I have approached the PNG Department of Education, the PNG Department of Community Services and AusAID Education personnel. Nobody could give me enough information for us to help meet the needs of local students. We therefore use a fair bit of guesswork at Theodist school stationary suppliers in Port Moresby.

    If that information now exists it would be helpful if the aid agencies or Kokoda Development Program could share it with us.
    If we wish to develop a sustainable level of support for villagers then the priority should be to develop a proper management system for the trekking industry. This should include:
    1. Conduct of village workshops to determine community needs;
    2. A proper Trek Permit system;
    3. A standardised medical clearance system for trekkers;
    4. Accreditation of trek operators;
    5. Accreditation of campsites in partnership with landowners
    6. Development of ‘village co-operatives’.

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