A man from Western Province has voluntarily built 21 houses for people living with disabilities, widows and young people in his community.
Mr Kila Garum, 50 years old is a community leader in the remote village of Drimskai in the Kiunga rural local level government (LLG) of the North Fly District in Western Province, has given up his role as the ward councillor and has instead led villagers in Drimskai in a community development project that aims to build 49 homes to accommodate everyone in his village.
“These first 21 homes built were prioritized for the people with disabilities, widows, married and young people in the community,” he said.
“My dream is to see that everyone in the community owns a permanent house with solar lights and a drinking water tank.”
Garum, is also supervisor to five (5) volunteers under the National Volunteer Services (NVS) who are currently attending a three-week Southern Region Batch 19 volunteers Pre-Service Orientation (PSO) program at the Goldie River Training Depot (GRTD) which ran from the 19th of June to the 9th of July recently.
The Pre-Service Orientation is basically an induction program that is aimed to equip volunteers with the necessary information that they would need to successfully complete their +projects with the guidance of NVS supervisors.
“I resigned from occupying the position of Ward councillor in the 2018 LLG election after realizing that the community needs that had been identified were not being prioritized.”
Garum said he resigned after realizing that his efforts to seek assistance from the office of the District and Provincial members had fallen on deaf ears so he had to take action instead of waiting on the Government.
Since then, he has managed to build 21 out of the 49 proposed houses that were to be built in the ward with the help of the local villagers and later a support funding of K136, 000 as the first quarter funding from the District Service Improvement Program Funds (DSIP).
“Helping my community build the 21 houses has given me a sense of accomplishment in serving my purpose as a member of this community,” he said.
Garum added that in 2022 the current local member of North Fly District Hon James Donald supported the project by offering a saw mill which greatly assisted them.
He is also a part of the volunteer counselling committee for fifteen years from 1992 to 2007 and expressed that serving others through volunteering has given him satisfaction especially in seeing that he has made an impact in people’s lives.
Garum has also proposed another project to venture into after the Southern Region PSO, which is a plan for a Land Use Project.
“Drimskai was scoped as the central location for Economical and Business House Station for both the Government and Private sector for the people of North Fly and Western as a whole,” he said.
“It is a first of its kind to the people of Western and the good news to the Drimskai people of North Fly to turn this central location to a House Station.”
He added that often times basic services were decentralized and remote people are in need of basic services and felt that this project will greatly help them.
In the meantime, scoping and surveying has already been done so far for the remaining houses and they are waiting for the Government to intervene and assist with funding for the other projects to start.
Garum said that the Drimskai was scoped and surveyed to be developed into a station with a Primary and secondary school, an Agriculture College, a Health Centre, Aid-post, a mini-Hydro plant and the sealing of streets.
He further stated that he is looking forward to working with the other volunteers on the project after the PSO and is grateful to the opportunity from NVS to meet other likeminded individuals who had a passion to bring about positive change in their communities.