A small but significant event made Las Kona come alive last week as NGI Divisional Commander, ACP Perou N’dranou and New Ireland PPC Chief Inspector, Felix Nebanat converged at the remote Kumim Village upon the invitation of the SOR Waipap clan who gave their customary land to establish a Police Post.
For the first time in history, the landowners were moved to tears in an emotional ceremony that captured their hearts desire to see police presence is maintained in the area. “Since logging came in with Police deployment, we have seen a drastic decrease in the level of crimes in our communities,” said Judah Pais, SOR Waipap clan rep and company Public Relations Officer.
Pais said seeing ACP and his contingent and PPC Nebanat with his team, signifies the beginning of a new legacy that gives new hope for peace restoration. For the past 10 to 15 years since road access to Namatanai was deteriorated beyond repair.
Law & Order coincidently deteriorated along with the absence of government services and most importantly Police presence. Judah said his people access basic services by boat from Kokopo which is only an hour away compared to a laborious 9 hours walk to Kabanut (where the government road stops) to catch a PMV to travel for another 2 hours into Namatanai.
The alarming number of unreported sea piracy cases, murder, marijuana, rape, arson, cultivation of brewing of homebrew, sales and consumption of drugs soared uncontrollably.
Responding to their gesture to provide the land ACP N’dranou thanked the clan elders for initiative saying that he is presented with a great challenge. He said the establishment of post, its general operation and maintenance must be drawn under the microscope to ensure proper planning and implementation of the project must be done according RPNGC’s due process and protocol.
He highlighted the importance of having the Police post established outside of the logging company’s area, to maintain transparency and neutralism.
He also challenged the District and the LLG to take ownership in funding the Police post. Present for the event NDDA CEO and District Administrator for Namatanai, Mr. Neville Tomon also pledged his support for the project. PPC Nebanat thanked the SOR Waipap clan for their recognition for the need for policing in the area and commended them for their step in the right direction to partner with the Police by giving their land to accommodate the Police Post for the LLG.