Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) and its subsidiary Petroleum Resources Kutubu (PRK) delivered an ambulance and a generator to the Inu community in Kutubu at the weekend, a massive boost for health services and education in the area.
MRDC Managing Director Mr Augustine Mano, Chief Operating Officer Mr John Tuaim, PRK Chairman Mr John Kapi Natto, and PRK director Johnny Yawari traveled to Kutubu to hand over the vital assets to the people of the lakeside community.
The Inu Health Centre was built in the 1950s by the Evangelical Church of PNG to cater for a community of less than 6,000 people in those days. Today, it serves more than 13,000 people. Its last ambulance went out of service in 2001, almost 19 years ago.
“The population has grown. We really struggle to serve the people,” Officer in Charge of the Health Centre Mr Rodney Alu said while giving Mr Mano and his team a brief tour of facilities at the rural health centre.
Referring the seriously ill to hospitals in Tari or Mendi and attending to mothers in labor has been a huge challenge for the rural clinic and its seven health workers.
“This ambulance is a huge relief for us. It’s the best Christmas gift for the people here,” Alu said.
The Health Centre’s Labor Ward is small, and has capacity to deal with one woman at a time. But most times, it deals with three or four women at a time.
“One of our biggest needs is to upgrade this ward, and bring in additional staff, to meet the increase in demand,” Mr Alu said.
At the Kutubu Secondary School, a 165 kVA generator was commissioned, providing electricity which would enable students to study at night, use computers and have access to the internet to enhance learning.
Chairman of the School Board Mr Dabura Kamuna said the school children were struggling without power when their generator broke down at the start of the year.
“I’m pleased that under your banner “Leaving No Child Behind”, you have come to the assistance of the kids here with this powerful generator,” Mr Kamuna said.
The installation and commissioning of the generator was fast-tracked at the direction of Mr Mano.
“It’s not fair that our gas should light up Port Moresby and other places while we remain in the dark. With electricity, our kids will be able to study and use the library at night, have access to computers and the internet.
“Oil and gas won’t last forever. Once they are depleted, I hope Kutubu will continue to produce manpower needed to advance the country. We will invest more in education in Kutubu, Kikori, Semberigi and other project impacted areas,” Mr Mano said.
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