Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tribal clash puts Black Cat Trail operations on hold

By PISAI GUMAR in The National

ETHNIC fighting between Biangais and Watuts two weeks ago are believed to have delayed the operations of a British volunteer team that has come to PNG to set up tour facilities in Morobe province.
Trekforce Worldwide has been in the province for the past two months to set up equipment along the World War II Black Cat Trail from Salamaua to Wau.
The volunteers – four women and seven men, who are based at Komiatam village, Salamaua, Huon Gulf – are involved in educating gateway villagers along the trail on ways to improve hospitality standards.
They have also been assisting the community in projects funded by the Morobe Tourism Bureau.
However, the conflict between Biangais and Watuts was said to have put Trek Force’s plans on hold.
Projects that have been postponed include the installations of a radio base at Kamiatam and contact points along the track in accordance with the development plan launched at Lae International Hotel in March last year.
Three of the volunteers left for Britain last Friday.
The others will remain in the province for about two months to teach in community schools in the district, including Salamaua High School.
During their time here, the volunteers completed a community project – a bio eco-friendly bathroom – for Komiatam village.
The semi-modern facility, containing a shower room, washing place and toilet, was launched last week.