By Winterford Toreas of Post-Courier Buka

 arawa ppl 2

Photo: Newly installed power plant at Arawa

After 22 years of walking along dark streets during the night because of the non-existence of a decent power supply, people in Arawa, Central Bougainville will now have access to 24 hours electricity.

This follows the official launching and hand over of the newly installed power plant to PNG Power Ltd (PPL) on February 3rd by the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG).

Arawa town last had constant power supply in December 1989 when the problems arising from the Bougainville conflict prompted all government services to be halted as employees fled the area.

Present during he launch was Minister for Bougainville Affairs representing the National Government and South Bougainville MP, Steven Pirika Kama, ABG Ministers Nicholas Daku (Primary Industry) and Carolus Ketsimur (Works and Transport), PNG Power Chief Executive Officer, Tony Koiri and his officers, representatives of the Arawa District Office and Arawa business houses.

Speaking on behalf of Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah, Mr Kama challenged the people of Arawa to assist PNG Power and look after the new power station.

He added that the restoring of power supply now means that more tangible developments would take place in the area.

“We should be happy with the achievement of the ABG and PNG Power in trying to provide 24 hours of power supply in Arawa. This is one of the big impact projects we have in Bougainville. If we damage the power station, we will not get another power station that is why we must respect the property that was given to us by the government,” said Mr. Kama.

He also took the opportunity to brief the people about the recent developments taking place between the National Government and the ABG.

“More developments will take place between the National Government and the ABG.

“The only way to bring development is partnership and we must trust each other. If we don’t, people will suffer.

Meanwhile Business Community representative Chris Damana said business houses in the area would greatly benefit from the restoration of power supply.

He asked PNG Power not to let the people down and manage the station poorly because business houses might suffer and eventually the local people will suffer too.