In a historic event, Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, on Friday, August 25, 2023, addressed a massive crowd in the picturesque Aiyura Valley of Obura-Wonenara, Eastern Highlands. With unwavering resolve, he declared an end to their status as the forgotten “back page” of Papua New Guinea.
Stepping onto the stage with impact, Prime Minister Hon. James Marape launched the eagerly awaited Obura-Wonenara Five-Year District Development Plan, spearheaded by Pangu Pati MP Hon. John Boito and his District Development Authority. The event also marked the inauguration of a K28 million road upgrade between Kainantu and Aiyura, and the commencement of the construction of the vital link road connecting Aiyura and Marawaka, supported by the Asian Development Bank, with a budget of K160 million. Additionally, a road linking Marawaka and Menyamya in Morobe is currently under construction as part of the Marape Government’s flagship ‘Connect PNG’ Programme.
Recognising the significance of Marawaka and the wider Obura-Wonenara region as a cornerstone of Papua New Guinea’s coffee production, Prime Minister Marape remarked, “I acknowledge Marawaka and the entire Obura-Wonenara region as one of the pivotal coffee-growing areas in Papua New Guinea.”
He expressed his vision for the region, stating, “I anticipate the day when you cease to be a ‘back page’ and instead become the ‘gateway’ that unites our nation from north to south.”
Demonstrating unwavering dedication to his responsibilities, Prime Minister Marape promptly journeyed to Aiyura following his return from an international engagement in Vanuatu. By his side were esteemed Government Ministers, along with the honorable presence of Eastern Highlands Governor Hon. Simon Sia and all Members of Parliament from the province, standing united in solidarity.
Obura-Wonenara, renowned for producing Papua New Guinea’s finest coffee, has grappled with the challenge of limited road connectivity for far too long. Nestled within the breathtaking Aiyura Valley are prominent institutions including the Summer Institute of Linguistics, Aiyura National High School, Coffee Research Institute, National Agriculture Research Institute, Fresh Produce Development Agency, and National Fisheries Authority.
Addressing the eager crowd, Prime Minister Marape delivered promising news for Obura-Wonenara’s citizens. Over the span of five years, from 2023 to 2027, the district is poised to receive a substantial K100 million through the District Services Improvement Programme (DSIP). The Government will channel funds into an extensive overhaul of road infrastructure, encompassing the revival of the deteriorated Kainantu to Aiyura Valley road, and the crucial Marawaka to Menyamya road in Morobe.
With the aim of fortifying economic growth, the Marape Government has plans to allocate resources for the establishment of a cutting-edge coffee processing facility within Obura-Wonenara.
“In the current year, K20 million will be allocated to the district; this will be followed by K20 million next year, K20 million in 2025, another K20 million in 2026, and an additional K20 million in 2027,” Prime Minister Marape stated.
He emphasised, “Over the upcoming five years, Obura-Wonenara is slated to receive a minimum of K100 million, just like every other district in our nation. This marks an unprecedented allocation of funds to our districts and provinces.”
Prime Minister Marape urged the people of Obura-Wonenara, and all districts across the country, to hold their MPs and DDAs accountable for the annual disbursement of funds to districts.