|There are many words to describe the Buang region|
There are many words to describe the Buang region. Mountainous, remote, difficult and beautiful. Buang reveals its true beauty every morning, as the sunrise creeps over the mountains revealing breathtaking cliffs and slender waterfalls that plunge hundreds of meters into the rivers below.
This is a place where the people fix the roads without asking for payment from the government or the member of parliament or the local level government. It’s a place that is being transformed by a collection small projects that will have massive impacts in the years to come.
|Sam Basil Bulolo MP|
The Buang rural electrification project is the brainchild of the Bulolo MP, Sam Basil who lives in his village a few kilometers from this location. He said the desire to have the conveniences of urban life all in in this beautiful local location was one of the things what drove him to build this project.
"We want to make Buang the power garden of Bulolo," Basil says hinting at plans for more power generation that will feed electricity into the existing PNG Power grid that supplies Lae city.
In the villages, each house has three light bulbs as well power points. It looks like a small change but electricity will cut down the amount of firewood that women and children have to carry every day. It will reduce the amount of work women do in terms of cooking and washing.
Children will be able to study at night. Education is expected to progress in leaps and bounds as teachers and students gradually discover a vast store of knowledge accessible via the internet.
|Rural electrification changing lives|
The power project adds to several earlier projects have happened here. Today, People here have access to a 3G mobile network. They watch the Papua New Guinea's two free-to-air TV stations without any interruption. They no longer need a portable generator set to charge their batteries. And the fuel costs per household has been slashed by 3 quarters.
A partnership between the people of Bunag and a Chinese company is expected to be finalized soon. The Chinese have brought their expertise and their money to build a hydro power station. The Bunag people – who own the land and resources - will be part owners in a venture that will sell electricity to PNG power.
But one major challenge remains. The road that links Buang to the provincial capital still needs a lot more work. In the next few months this road will continue to be upgraded. Sam Basil is talking with the Huon Gulf MP, Ross Seymore to have a road link from Bulolo to Salamaua as well as well as an extension of the rural electrification program.