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Subject: Development as I WISHED it.

Fr. Robert Laka
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Date Posted: Wed, Aug 23 2006, 12:11:20am
In reply to: Keaster 's message, "Re: My response to the Keaster" on Tue, Aug 22 2006, 05:35:25pm

My Brother Engans: Sakait Kiak and Concern Engan.

Taking into consideration, what you have exchanged over regarding what has been done and what has not been done by a leader, based on their performance record, I wish to take a middle stand and share my opinion on WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN DONE and WHAT OUGHT TO BE DONE by a leader.

I have shared my reflection on the free education system as one of the areas that needs evaluation in terms of expenses of the Engans for the Engans. Well, this is ONE of the many development priorities an elected leader OUGHT to do. A basic human right is worth spending for, but that spending needs to be monitored and evaluated for proper accountability. As I said, every toea counts. If other developed countries can do it, why not we, who strive for excellence, do it. We canít simply say, itís impossible. Nothing is impossible if the records are straight.

However, since your opinions are based on developmental issues, I would think of two complimentary aspects of development: 1. development in terms of INTEGRAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT and 2. INFRASTRACTURAL DEVELOPMENT.

Integral Human development includes a personís physiological, psycho-emotional and intellectual development with of course spiritual development. Education as an element of growth becomes a key factor for an Engan to grow intellectually to contribute to the infrastructural development of Enga. The governor had prioritized so, (though with ill advice) to avail the intellectual development to the selected few. In this stance, I agree on principle with the Sakait Kiak; indeed, a professional Engans contributes well and professional ideas for the development of Enga.

However, 10 years had been a long futile time spent with very little achievement, at least some evidence of rural development scheme that would encourage the rural farmers to produce something for and at the provincial level, however, nothing as reached that paradigm. For instance, we had Enga Vegetable Deport was in operation for some times but donít know what happened. That would be a venue for our local farmers to sell their products that would then be sold to PJV for instance or other possible markets venues like nearby schools and hospitals. However, I have not seen that so far. (I remember bringing the tones of vegetables and fruits from Wapenemanda to give them to the hospital in Yampu every month). The Radio Enga is another instances, that would transmit relevant social, political and economical issues pertaining to development matters, but KBM has no voice now, as far as I know. I might be wrong, please correct me. The other would be the telecommunication system that would enable the flow of information for dissemination in the business and administrative environment. Enga has enough high mountains and a dream to host a transmitter tower to have the network linkage easier seems impossible. The famous ďsystem i daunĒ in the banks remains an everlasting phenomenon, with many Engans becoming victims of crime when they travel back and forth to do business in other centers.

On the other hand, the basic key to attain development at any level is still lacking. There are no feeder roads that would have access to all our subsistent farmers to market their products, which includes coffee. Roads at Kompiam, Ambum, Tsaka Valley and some outstations of Kandep and Alukuli are in dire stage. My recent pastoral visit to these places was a big sigh. I am not including the township of Wabag, which has been a slap on the face. (Thanks to Sam to seal the vicinity). But these feeder roads of the districts are essential basic linkage that would have the Engans have every access to their lives in terms of services. This is what development is. The busy they are with their products at different markets, the peaceful Enga would be and the educated Engans showing the path to prosperity. This is possibility and is attainable. If others can do it, we can.

Let we forget that, today, information, knowledge and participatory processes of social change are essential to development if the Leader is willing to lead Engans to respond to both opportunities and major challenges of the coming century.

Fr. Robert Plews Laka (Tsikiro, Ambum Tange)
Slovenia - Europe

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