There is an overwhelming community support from residents of Edai town towards the injured school kids and their families.
Since the school bus accident on Tuesday morning, 22nd June, a meeting was called by residents where an interim committee was appointed and the following day, funds were raised through a wheel barrow push within Edai town estate.
Over K9,000 was raised from that fundraising drive alone with a further K5,000 chipped in by Pastor Matt Allen from Capital City Baptist Church, which is located less than 5minutes drive from Edai Town.
Yesterday (Saturday, 27th June), members of Edai town interim committee together with some school children and residents visited the three severely injured kids at the Port Moresby General hospital where they presented them with care packages containing cash, get well soon letters and fresh flowers.
The group spent few moments with the injured kids, (Michael Oa, 8 years old), (Letisha Heritrenggi, 7years old) and the third student, who is in grade 7 (13 years old, Millyanna Vali) and their parents, reminding them of how the entire Edai Family and their neighbours are with them at this difficult time as they go through the various stages of recovery and adaptation.
Two of the three seriously injured children had lost a limb each following the accident. The committee also visited six children with minor injuries at their homes at Edai Town and presented them with cash.
Chairman of Edai Town Interim Committee, Sylvester Kalaut said although the care packages may not be enough, the overwhelming support and kind gestures from residents showed the level of care, love and sympathy for the children who have been hurt and injured from the accident, some of whose lives have been changed forever.
Kalaut said“ The cash was distributed accordingly to the severity of the injuries with our two amputees receiving K3,000 each , followed by K2,000 for the third severely injured child who had operation on one of the legs.
The six children with minor injuries received K700 each. This may not enough but just to help with the immediate needs of the injured children and their families while taking care of them in the hospital.”
We still have other immediate needs like counselling to do and are appealing to those who are able to provide the service to come forward.
Those corporate companies operating along the Napanapa stretch of the highway who wish to support our injured children and their families at this time, please do get in touch with us, the kids have immediate needs as well as the long term needs.” Kalaut said.
A member of the interim committee and resident, Wesley Spinder said “ It was an emotional and heartbreaking moment for us to see the little ones lying on their beds, fighting silently the pain and tears. We all shed tears.
But on the flip side, to see the beaming smile on their innocent faces just gave us hope and lit up our hearts. They are brave, strong and true fighters. They are smiling and doing well despite the life altering injuries. “
Following the hospital visit yesterday, the interim committee met with Edai Town Management and stake holders to discuss a petition by the residents last week following the accident.
The petition among others call for security/safety controls and protocols to be in place including induction for drivers operating school transport, immediate support and care for affected families and future plans for the children with permanent injuries.
Edai Town Management has assured of some long term plans for the affected children which will be made known to the residents during a meeting next Sunday, 04th July. For now the Edai Town management/developer are meeting with the stakeholders before talking to the residents.
Tragedy hit Edai town on Tuesday 22nd June before 7am when a 25 seater school shuttle bus transporting Primary school children crashed into a guardrail on the Napanapa highway, less than 5minutes after leaving Edai township.
The nasty accident left three children seriously injured, two ended up having their legs amputated and 7 others who received minor injuries to the various part of their bodies.
The accident was only four days after the first accident also involving Edai school kids on Friday 18th June when the driver of another bus who was reported to be drunk drove into the Edai school bus, two children received minor injuries, one has fractured bones and the other scratches.
Both accidents are under police investigation before formal charges can be laid. The driver of the second accident was initially put behind police cells.