PNG launches film drama series combatting cross cutting family and social issues

McPolly Koima from Simbu has graced the world stage scenes of acting and film productions, a rare feat for many Papua New Guineans.

A former University of Papua New Guinea’s arts school student and later a teacher at Sogeri National High School, he acted in the internationally acclaimed German movie Jungle Child.

The movie was set in Malaysia and Koima acted as Chief Boku.

A scene from the movie jungle child where McPolly Koima acted as Chief Bogu. Courtesy www.theskykid.com

A scene from the movie jungle child McPolly Koima acting as Chief Bogu. Courtesy http://www.theskykid.com

He was at the premiere of the movie in Germany.

Jungle Child tells the story of a linguist who went to the jungles of West Papua to live and learn the language of the Fayu tribe.

The linguist and his family-the wife a doctor, had to leave the comforts of civilization.

They have an eight-year old daughter who adjusted well with the jungle culture and children her age.

Stand-offs between tribes are inevitable and traditional beliefs of sorcery and witchcraft are cultured.

A young Fayu boy was sick and dying and the linguist’s daughter brought him to their home nursed by her mum.

The young boy recovered and lived with the linguist’s family and when they were teens, the Fayu boy wanted to start a family with the linguist’s daughter but the parents want her to study in Europe.

Koima, the son of a policeman, said his passion for drama and acting grew stronger when he was at 9Gaulim Teachers College in Rabaul before he attended university.

He said acting in the internationally acclaimed movie Jungle Child is like manifestation of his dream.

Koima’s strengths are his ability to visualize and story board in his mind so as to deliver the story with awe placing an antagonist view against protagonist- Hollywood approach to film productions.

He did numerous works on radio drama productions for Marie Stopes, Australian funded programs through the Media Development Initiative, National Aids Council and these programs were widely broadcast on the National Broadcasting Corporation.

Koima went a step further in drama productions, and in an attempt to combatting cross cutting family and social issues- uses film and television to deliver messages of social change.

His confidence in directing came when acting in Jungle Child.

With support from the Australian Government, Koima and his Tribal Arts Voice Link produced a mini television drama series, Grace.

It will be screened at Port Moresby’s Paradise Cinema on December 4, a two hours movie.

Grace is also produced into 10 pieces of 30 minutes episodes advocating social and cultural change.

It was launched at a premiere last Wednesday evening at the Paradise Cinema, by an Australian High Commissioner’s representative.

Koima said Grace raises concerns about family violence, gender equality, disability, female rights to education and many others.

“I hope people will love to watch it over and over again,” Koima said.

“We have been advocating for social change.”

“People used too many different types of advocacy messages”.

“But the aggressive approach to campaign is to use the society itself,” Koima added.

“We did not want to create another advocacy program or awareness.”

“We do not use direct statements like if you bash your wife you go to jail.”

“We portray casual reality and by using that directing concept we make it entertaining,” Koima said.

“When you use people themselves to act, they relate to it well.”

The country’s last video drama was produced about 30 years ago but the Grace director has uncovered many potential raw talents to star in any video drama or movie.

He said PNG needed funding to venture into film drama which has great potential to deliver message to people and call for behavior change.

In the Grace Series set in Simbu and Port Moresby, a 19 year old highlands lass Tina Wesley stars as Grace.

The promotional movie poster for

The promotional movie poster for “Grace”. The movie will be screened at the Vision City Paradise Cinema on Thursday December 4, 2014.

Wesley is an arts student at the university of Papua New Guinea.

In the drama she learns that her school in Simbu was shutting down because of landowner issues and she moves to Port Moresby to continue learning and she lives with her aunt and uncle.

Unbeknown to Grace, her mother and uncle back in Simbu have received gifts from a businessman as bride price to marry her off.

Her ambition is to be a lawyer.

While she lives in Port Moresby with her aunt and uncle, the uncle was always consuming alcohol and the family faces financial difficulties.

This affected her ability to concentrate at school.

A school friend of Grace enticed her to befriend sugar daddies to receive gifts and money.

Grace was caught in between.

Despite the struggles Grace endured she completed her secondary school studies in Port Moresby was selected to attend the University of Papua New Guinea to study law but then there was the arranged marriage her mother and uncle had approved.

It takes the viewer into suspense whether Grace will eventually achieve her dream to be a lawyer.

Koima is ambitious about doing another better productions.

He said it seems the strategy today where we deliver messages of behavior change is to use doctors, pilots, rugby league players-the stars to deliver the message.

Koima believes these stars have some people who are not fans- they have an opposition.

But he suggests if you use the society itself, the unpopular people, they will relate to it well.

“You have to play with the mind,” he said.

He said PNG society has a long oral history and was fitting messages were delivered through drama.

Parkop reveals strategy to end squatter settlements

NCD Governor Powes Parkop believes the issue of settlements can be addressed by turning settlements into suburbs.

Parkop said his government would “arrest” this issue of settlements.

On his foresight now is the 8 Mile area in Port Moresby.

“We are ready to meet the challenges,” he said.

“We will make 8 Mile become a suburb. We will convert a settlement to a suburb. We are going to arrest the problem of settlement,” Parkop said.

The success of what is done in Port Moresby, Parkop said can be used in other provincial centres.

Prime Minister O’Neill agreed with Parkop and said they would consider ways to allow people at settlements to register the piece of land they live on and build proper houses.

China Railway Engineering Construction to build City Hall

China Railway Engineering Construction (CREC) has been awarded K 54 million to construct a five story City Hall complex for the National Capital District Commission.

The formal agreement was signed in July.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill launched the project last Wednesday at the project site-opposite the Vision City Mega Mall on Waigani Drive, and work began immediately.

Acting city manager Leslie Alu said NCDC engineers, architects and Project Manager Creative Resolution will work with CREC to complete the project in about May 2015.

He attributed the project to NCD Governor Powes Parkop’s prudent leadership.

“Staff have been waiting for six years,” he said adding this should boost their work morale.

Parkop said it was long time coming but he was determined.

He predicted the building to be an icon of Port Moresby, promoting nationalism but not a grand hall.

“In future when the economy is good, we must build a grand hall,” Parkop said.

The governor added that the move to build a new hall came at the back end of massive infrastructure spending of K500 million last year to improve road infrastructure.

Parkop said he has a vision to make Port Moresby the best city in the South Pacific and building the new hall is just one leap.

“It’s not insurmountable,” he said.

The new city hall would house the board, the commissioners and the board.

Parkop said the city was fading away and there was a need to spice it up with new buildings with creative designs.

China Railway Engineering Construction (CREC) has been awarded K 54 million to construct a five story City Hall complex for the National Capital District Commission.

The formal agreement was signed in July.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill launched the project last Wednesday at the project site-opposite the Vision City Mega Mall on Waigani Drive, and work began immediately.

Acting city manager Leslie Alu said NCDC engineers, architects and Project Manager Creative Resolution will work with CREC to complete the project in about May 2015.

He attributed the project to NCD Governor Powes Parkop’s prudent leadership.

“Staff have been waiting for six years,” he said adding this should boost their work morale.

Parkop said it was long time coming but he was determined.

He predicted the building to be an icon of Port Moresby, promoting nationalism but not a grand hall.

“In future when the economy is good, we must build a grand hall,” Parkop said.

The governor added that the move to build a new hall came at the back end of massive infrastructure spending of K500 million last year to improve road infrastructure.

Parkop said he has a vision to make Port Moresby the best city in the South Pacific and building the new hall is just one leap.

“It’s not insurmountable,” he said.

The new city hall would house the board, the commissioners and the board.

Parkop said the city was fading away and there was a need to spice it up with new buildings with creative designs.

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IEPNG conducts technical audit workshop

The Institution of Engineers PNG Inc and the Professional Engineers Registration Board of PNG have as one of their top priorities is to help the Government combat corruption and ensure that PNG citizens enjoy infrastructure such as roads, bridge, wharves and buildings.We would like to ensure that what is constructed conforms with standards and specifications and in accordance with guiding principles.We believe that a lot of projects are not tendered properly, are price inflated and not constructed to approved technical specifications nor do they adhere to acceptable standards.
There is virtually no technical audit on projects that are being funded by the PNG Government. We, as the sanctioned body responsible for the engineering profession in PNG strongly believe that infrastructure projects constructed in PNG must be audited. This will effectively ensure projects are accurately scoped and priced, tendered and awarded as per the guiding principles and implemented within time and cost perimeters and satisfactorily completed in compliance with set standards and specifications.
We must not continue to accept the status quo. Millions our peoples’ money are being spent on developing the infrastructure of this nation and it is incumbent of us to ensure what we get is for the value of the money that is being spent.
The workshop in Lae is aimed at gauzing views from all stakeholders.
This will then enable IEPNG to coordinate a submission to cabinet to enact legislations, making it mandatory that technical audits are carried out on all government funded projects.
We believe that something must be done.
The project must be audited for technical compliance, safety, longevity, durability and must be guaranteed by all agencies and contractors that the will serve the people of PNG and not fall apart after a few months.

City residents urged to use water wisely

Eda Ranu General Manager Special Projects Lot G. Zauya says the company was rationing water in Port Moresby in the month of August due to maintenance work at its Mt. Eriama Water Treatment Plant.
Zauya said there was water volume of just above 200 million cubic metres of water as of last week. This isa reduction from the Dam Spill Volume of 340 million cubic metres and the general public needs to use water wisely and to conserve water. The Sirinumu Dam is operated by PNG Power Limited and Eda Ranu uses a certain volume of water through an Off-take Agreement with PNG Power Limited.
“Once the volume drops down to 50 million cubic metres then its only water supply.”
He clarified that once the water level reached 50 million cubic meters, it would be reserved for water supply use only.
Zauya had been a civil engineer for the last 30 years.
He explained that the recent water rationing in Port Moresby was because of a major overhaul undertaken by the Eda Ranu at its sedimentation tanks- particularly at its third clarifier at the Mt Eriama treatment plant.
It had not been done since 1974 when the machine was installed and parts like bearings have worn out.
Zauya said Port Moresby city users consume 165 million cubic litres of water every day.
A lot of water used by settlements, Zauya admitted was not paid and there was a need to “cut down on non-revenue systems”.
While NCD Governor Powes Parkop has suggested use of sea desalination to produce water, Zauya said it would be an expensive option.
He said right now they were using gravitational force to move water from Sogeri to Port Moresby. It is less expensive. But to convert sea to pure water, they would need to run more machines and would involve a lot of pumping and thus a higher operational cost.