Driving around Port Moresby and tired of seeing old scenery not to mention the traffic that seems not to move and you wish to feel the freedom of stepping on the accelerator? Maghi Highway is the road for you, fill up your gas tanks and drive out and enjoy the fresh air and great scenery.
Maghi Highway links villages both inland under the owen stanley range and along the Southern Coastline of PNG. Feeder roads link up to the main highway but sadly years of neglect has left the highway looking pretty ordinary. Over grown bush is encroaching onto the tarmac endangering wildlife and lives of passengers who frequent the highway on Public Motor Vehicles (PMVs).
Responsibility for general upkeep of the highway lies with the Central Provincial Government but it looks like they have shunned away from its maintenance. The highway is the life line for most of the rural population, it is the only link between the rural villages in Central and Port Moresby, the Nations Capital. Fresh vegetables organically grown are transported and sold in Port Moresby markets, people from the rural villages also travel to seek health and other services in Port Moresby.
What Maghi Highway needs is complete rehabilitation, responsible Members of Parliament from Central Province should put some funding into maintenance of the Highway as it serves the general population regardless of what district and village they come from. Seeing bush encroaching onto the sides of the highway is dangerous not only to drivers but passengers as well. Bushes around corners are blind spots attracting potential accidents. Do we have to wait until some lives are lost then we can do something about it?
Contracts should be awarded to local community groups to clean and maintain the highway at the same time explore potential economic opportunities the highway can bring for the rural population.
The flat grassland has much potential in store yet there are no Service Stations, Mini Marts and more importantly cattle farms along the highway. There is so much the Provincial Government can do to maximise opportunity for their people for having to be close to the biggest Market in PNG (Port Moresby).
Local Land owners living along the highway instead fill petrol and diesel in 5 liter containers to sell at their little stalls with vegetables, fish and occasionally fresh bandicoots. Maghi Highway has the potential to drive local economy if Provincial Government and District Administration are serious in creating opportunities to build wealth for their people and the province.
The highway is the only infrastructure Central Province has depended on ever since independence and undeniably Central Provincial Government still operates out of Port Moresby with no provincial headquarters. Majority claim that Port Moresby belongs to Central Province and rightfully it is as it sits on the land of the Motukoitabuans but one must understand that Port Moresby is not built on revenue from Central Province alone, every province since Independence has contributed to the development of our Capital City. The time is never right for Central Province to establish a Provincial Capital, a place where Papuans can call their own and develop with Pride.
Bautama is history to learn from, the experience shouldn’t scare us from pursuing the dream of building a City were Papuans live their lives without been harassed or intimidated, some people take our peaceful way of life as weakness but in reality we can make this as the source of our strength. No great economy was ever build with infighting, harassment and deprivation of its people. A peaceful, tranquil society are the essential elements to attracting investment, mind you if our ancestors were really that aggressive, one can only wonder where would the capital city of PNG be today. Maghi Highway provides the opportunity to freedom, the link to outside world. The link to bring in the much needed resources to build a City which all Papuans can be proud of.
And the only way we can do this is to increase the flow of traffic through maghi highway. Next time you’re behind the wheel and you’re bored out of your mind of seeing the same old faces and places in Port Moresby not mention the congested slow traffic and all you want is to experience some speed?… Maghi Highway is the road for your wheels, step on the gas wind down your windows and experience clean fresh air rush through while letting your eyes wonder over the rolling green plains and grassy hilltops with the backdrop of blue mountains and clear blue skies.
Drive out there, enjoy the scenery and buy from the locals to support our people directly as it is expensive for them to travel to the city to sell their produce.
Last but not the least, Please Drive Responsibly, Don’t Drink and Drive