THE 40,000 PLUS PEOPLE of the Wapenamanda district in Enga Province now see some light at the end of the tunnel.
New MP for Wapenamanda and Foreign Affairs Minister, Rimbink Pato, has a great vision for the long-suffering people of the district.
Since 2002, after former parliamentarian Masket Iangalio lost his seat to Miki Kaeyok, who was then succeeded by Pato (pictured left) at the last election, there has been gross neglect of this region.
Every basic infrastructure service in the district has collapsed. The place has been in total darkness for years.
There was no proper district administration; former MP Miki Kaeyok operated from his home at Birip Mission Station.
Law and order issues were on the rise because there being no police on the ground. The district police station was closed down for more than 10 years and the District Court transferred to Wabag for unknown reasons.
The Department of Primary Industry, once an active body supporting rural farmers, was closed due to lack of funding from the district administration. The schools and health facilities established by former MPs Pato Kakaraya and Masket Iangalio deteriorated.
But, above all, road condition in the district is the hot topic that everyone from the Lower Lai basin up to the Tsak Valley talk about constantly. They complain like roads are the food and drink they cannot live without.
But now Mr Pato has brought hope to his people by committing to upgrading the roads and run-down facilities during his five year term in parliament.
Better roads will improve the local economy. The people will sell their produce to nearby markets, raise chickens, start piggeries, open shops and grow cash crops and undertake many other activities that will raise their living standards.
The last ten years have been the darkest in the lives of the Wapenamanda people.
But these positive statements by the new MP are good news to the ears of the people of the district.
Congratulations are due to our new MP for achieving his new political career (he has climbed to ministerial level even though he is a first timer in parliament). We salute you.
The losing candidates and the people of Wapenamanda must put aside their political differences and work side by side to realse the Pato vision and bring much needed services to the people.