BY ELIAS NANAU
Telefomin district celebrated a historical event on Friday as it embarks on a renewed development strategy to meet its aspirations.
This time a renewed development funding from the Ok Tedi mine worth K20 million every year would be funded direct to the district but through the Department of National Planning and Monitoring.
Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari, National Planning Secretary Koney Samuel and Telefomin MP Solan Mirisim were among guests who were at Telefomin to officiate and witness the public presentation of the renewed Telefomin District Development Agreement and swearing in of Telefomin District Development Committee (TDDC) members.
These members comprise Solan Mirisim as Chairman, Telefomin District Administrator Nemsim Kibisep, a representative from the Ok Tedi Mine Kedi Ilimbit, appointed independent engineer Allan Bong, appointed representative from the five main villages in Telefomin Mipi Sumengim and Betty Sol, women’s representative.
Sumengim and Sol’s appointments are for three years.
The other ex-officio members of the committee are the Sandaun Provincial Administrator, Provincial Works Manager and Department of Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs Secretary.
Their role would be to ensure development plans and programs are managed and achieved.
Mirisim told his people who gathered in droves, traditionally attired and danced to honour the occasion that the local level governments of Telefomin, Yaspie, Oksapmin and Namea (Edwaki) will benefit.
History has it that through a Drolengam villager Baten Magasim he gave the idea to former Telefomin MP Wesani Iwoksep and the formation of the Telefomin District Development Agreement (TDDA) was conscripted in 1983.
Money for TDDA was channeled through the Sandaun Provincial Administration in some meager amounts as K500,000 per year.
It was managed by several persons and from 1992 to 2002 it was Mamis Nimisim-the agreement expired as well.
Solan Mirisim then worked on legal documentations when he became the MP in 2012 and it was recently approved by the Marape-Steven government that K20 million will be funded directly to Telefomin every year for as long as Ok Tedi is in operation.
Misirim said this was one of his three political visions when he entered politics and he was grateful to the government.
His other two visions are linking the Tabubil to Telefomin and Oksapmin road which has progressed, funded under the tax credit scheme with OK Tedi and development of Frieda Mine.
A second term politician he said he should quit politics when he has achieved these visions.
The Tabubil to Telefomin and Oksapmin road is progressing and is predicted to reach the peak of the Heidelberg Range by Christmas 2020 before they descend into Telefomin.
Last Friday Chief Secretary to government Isaac Lupari said K17 million from the Tax Credit Scheme is available to continue with the construction.
Lupari who was in Telefomin after 32 years said public servants must improve on their performance to implement service delivery. They must be honest.