BY KELA KAPKORA SIL BOLKIN
IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA individuals and households primarily produce food, health, peace and so forth. The agriculture, health and the police departments make policies and plans and supervise their implementation. They do not produce.
How feasible is it for a health worker to come to the doorstep and check to see if you wear a condom before sex or wash your hands before dinner? It is not possible.
The thought that the health department will produce health or the police peace and the department of agriculture food is fallacy. That is why we say individuals and households are the primary producers of health, peace and food.
I want to introduce a village court magistrate to you so you can appreciate what she does in a tough and treacherous environment to produce peace and tranquility in a rural remote dark corner of the Simbu Province.
Alim Yuana is her name. She is slim and has a dark brown skin but has a good voice and talks with authority.
She is from the Yuri tribe and is married to Yal Ole of the Nimaikane clan and lives with her husband in the northern foot of the Kubor range. She has five children who are all married with children of their own.
Alim is a village court magistrate in Ward 10 of the Digine local level government of the Kerowagi district even though she has not been to grade school.
The Nimaikane, Daral Gauma and Mor Gauma clans make up Ward 10. These clans are known for tribal warfare, killing, indiscriminate burning, and the plundering of property since time immemorial.
They are also known for fighting over meagre issues like stealing, swearing, debt and marriage breakup.
In the midst of this volatile environment, Alim Yuana sits in the male-dominated forums with her badge of authority hanging on her neck courtesy of a dog chain, listening attentively to disgruntled individuals and groups as she threads a way to dissipate animosity and bring peace.
She does this officially on Mondays and Thursdays. However, when there are emergencies and she is needed to broker peace, she attends to it with diligence at any time. In her free time she tills herd land for food and looks after the pigs.
She earns a monthly stipend of K50 month for being a village court magistrate and doing this noble job.
To Alim Yuana, K50 is just enough to buy a packet of salt, some cooking oil, a bar of soap and a roll of tobacco for her husband and herself, since the children look after themselves. She has yet to complain and ask for a pay rise.
She truly deserves an award from the Queen.