Port Moresby Varirata National Park Bush Walk Adventure

 Varirata National Park (Port Moresby) is a fantastic place for bushwalking. The three common bushwalking options are the Main road Walk, 3000 K walk or 1000 K walk.

The main road walk takes you around the track. It is often busy over the weekend and holiday so look out for the vehicles as they go past. This is an easy and pleasant option as you do need a guide. It is also ideal for road runners and families with smaller children.

The second option for Bush Walk at Varirara National Park is the1 K walk from the main reception to the lookout.

If you are serious about Busk Walking, the third option is for you. Take the complete loop around the conservation park. It is about 3K walk, but not for the fainted hearts. It can take 2 to 3 hours, depending on how fast you walk. So, go prepared.


Plenty to see on Varirata Bush Walk

Five out of the thirty-five species of birds of paradise live in the park, and PNG’s National Emblem, the Raggiana, is without any doubt, is the guest of honour.
Between April and October, during peak breeding season, there is an excellent chance of seeing some males in full breeding plumage dancing to attract female attention. Top tip: If you really what to get the best out of your trip to Varirata National Park, I would recommend enlisting a local guide to take you around the walks through the forest. You can ask for guides or assistance at the main entrance.
Check our updated story here: Varirata National Park Developments since 2018

Beautiful View toward Port Moresby, Jacksons Airport

The Lookout is 833 metres above sea level. Port Moresby Jackson airport is within clear view. On a beautiful day, you can see the planes landing and taking off.


Go prepared with cash, food, water, sunscreen and bug repellent. As for the serious walkers, this could be a recurring visit once you've done it the first time. You've got to visit Varirata National Park if you have been living in Port Moresby, but have not visited the park yet.

World Menstrual Health Day: Shattering the Stigma in Papua New Guinea

Every Thursday, for the past five (5) years a group of dedicated women meet in Lae, Papua New Guinea, to sew high quality washable menstrual pads. So far, they have distributed over 3000 of these hygiene packs to girls in the Morobe province.

Photo supplied: Nakei Siloi (L) &  Munum Primary School Girls (R)

In preparation for Menstrual Hygiene Day (28 May), girls from Christ The King Primary School will receive sets of these hand-sewn items, along with a health talk about the female body, menstruation, pregnancy and the importance of female hygiene. 

“There is a big need. Store-bought pads are expensive. And the disposal of plastic synthetic pads is a problem for our environment.” Nakei Siloi, Marama and spokesperson for the group has been a volunteer with Days for Girls since 2018. “We do not want our daughters to miss school just because she has her sikmun. We want to educate our girls about her monthly cycle. To emphasize to her how natural and normal having a period is.” 

In many parts of Papua New Guinea, haus meri or menstrual huts provide women and girls with the opportunity to support one another during their sikmun. “Because many of us have moved to urban locations, these opportunities for focused learning and rest are not readily available. We may not be talking openly about menstrual hygiene, so our daughters miss out.”

There is a culture of shame and taboo on matters pertaining to sexuality. Girls are teased at school if their clothes are stained. This also discourages our daughters from attending class. 

“Days for Girls have programmes which educate our sons about menstruation. It is called ‘Men who Know.’” Every man and boy is connected to a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, coworker or classmate. Men and boys would be crucial partners to shatter the stigma and in the future, influence decision making. “We are looking for men who might want to volunteer to join us in this endeavour” said Ms Siloi. 

Days for Girls was first established in Lae by Wendy Christie, supported by New Zealand, and Australian Days for Girls Teams and Chapters (especially those in Annerley, Boonah and Redlands, Queensland) along with sponsors; The Lioness Club of Lae, Express Freight Management, Chemcare, Papindo Ltd, Theodist and Brian Bell Home Centres.

This initiative on World Menstrual Health Day will reach over 150 young girls

For more information please contact us our Facebook page 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/daysforgirlslaepng


Logging companies must now pay for their crimes against our environment, our country, and our people.

I saw first-hand the damages logging companies are doing to the natural forests (and plants and animals) and the rivers systems in parts of New Guinea Ireland. It is a case of You never know till you see It. And the distractions caused by the logging companies are much bigger than we imagined.  PNG govt has got stop the logging operations in the country. 

PNG Insight photo | The importance of International Forest Day

Why complete ban on logging is urgent

In 2019 and 2020 I visited the provincial town of Namatanai in the New Ireland Province and Kimbe in the West New Britain Province. I fell in love with the natural wonders of the provinces. It was just stunning. 

You'll know what I mean if you know about the 'Bilas Peles' and 'Oil Palm Country'.

The rivers are crystal-clear blue. You can tell how healthy the forests and habitats are. 

But, I also saw the damages logging companies have done. Complete destruction of the forests and natural surroundings. The logging ships parked out in the sea and tugboats doing rounds, unloading logs. Even at nights.

The locals call the foreign loggers, pirates. They live onboard the massive logging carriers, load the logs and take off.

Forestry Authority, provincial govt or the national govt care less

Drove past the Pinakin Roadside market along the Buluminskey highway back to Kavieng Town. And two Toyota Lancruisers parked on the roadside, Men in Uniform. The guide told me that they were the mobile squad from the Rabaul Tomaringa Barracks here on Logging Assignment.

It saddens me that some logging companies can do that:

  • running bulldozers up the delicates limestone rocks, clear-fell the trees,
  • destroying the natural habitats, the streams and river systems; and 
  • getting police to watch over the logging operation.
Inadvertently, one seems to care. Not even the provincial govt or the national govt. 

The impacts of logging an area of forest is obvious like day light. 

I saw what the logging companies have done to the pristine waters of New Ireland and West New Britain Provinces. Once, there was no mud in the river systems. You can literally jump in and slash and the water remained crystal-clear. 

The waters are no more clear. The river banks are covered in Mud. It may look clean on the surface. One splash and it turn murky.

The loggers have been doing a lot of damage than imagined

After the visit, I have been tweeting my frustrations about the destruction done to the environment by the logging companies. It is not nice. It is inhumane. And, it should stop. 

Today, it is reassuring that a govt body has put the logging 'pirates' under the spotlight. When we talk about logging companies, it is not just about tax evasion or tax exemption. No. 

It is about the natural beauty of our beautiful country. And, I think Dr Ketan put it nicely. The logging companies must pay for their crimes - crimes committed against the PNG govt and also the crimes they caused against nature.

 - We reproduce Dr Ketan article below, you can also see my tweets at the end of this article - 

Logging companies must now pay for their crimes against our environment, our country, and our people by Dr. Joseph Ketan

IRC Commissioner Sam Koim has a reputation for going after the big crooks in Papua New Guinea. After serving his legal apprenticeship at Justice Department, Mr Koim was handpicked by former prime minister Peter O’Neill to investigate and prosecute corrupt politicians and their foreign cronies. Mr Koim demonstrated diligence in his work by prosecuting crooked public officeholders. He took a step further by investigating his political boss, the prime minister, which ultimately cost him his job as head of Task Force Sweep.

Now, after being appointed IRC Commissioner by the current prime minister James Marape, Mr Koim promises us that he is going after the Malaysian timber cartel, an obnoxious gang of tax evaders, who have been corrupting PNG politicians and public servants over the last 40 years to steal billions of dollars through transfer pricing and false declarations on the value of logs for export.

The IRC must be thorough and ruthless in its approach to weeding out corruption with the forest industry. A 1980s inquiry into the forest industry by Justice Tos Barnett uncovered widespread corruption involving a deputy prime minister, parliamentarians, and departmental heads working in partnership with the Sia brothers and other Malaysians to steal money from the country.

All corrupt PNG politicians and public servants were named in the reports by Tos Barnett. Veteran PNG journalist Harlyne Joku and the Times newspaper editor Anna Solomon published a series of reports on corruption within the forest industry. I have published the names of crooked PNG government officials in a chapter of a book edited by Michael Rynkiewich of the Melanesian Institute.

Papua New Guineans tend to have collective amnesia on corrupt officials, so we need to constantly remind readers of the past sins of our leaders.

Sam Koim knows that state agencies and the officials who work within them have aided and abetted the work of crooked foreign businessmen. The Malaysian loggers were brought into this country by Michael Somare and other politicians. RH is at the forefront of destructive logging in this country. It owns the Vision City Mall as well as the Stanley Hotel, in addition to other companies. It will require the most skilled and imaginative auditors to trace the trail of transfers of funds from one company to another through a series of Holding companies and offshore accounts.

We need to set an example to deter crooks from robbing us in future. Lock up the big foreign crooks, including facilitators within PNG, and nationalize all assets acquired through fraud. The logging companies must now pay for their crimes against our environment, our country, and our people.

//Ends

Illegal logging in PNG
Image: Oakland Institute

PNG Insight Tweets on Logging and Distructions of Forests




 

Papua New Guinea Covid-19 Update - Total Cases and Deaths

Here is a brief update of Covid-19 cases and deaths in PNG since January 2021. The data is compiled from the Official PNG Govt Covid-19 website. There is an exponential increase in the number of cases in the first quarter of 2021. The deaths are at 1% of the cases recorded. See the table at the end of this post.

covid19 in png



30 March 2021 Covid-19 Update 

PNG has recorded 5,620 Covid-19 cases and 56 known deaths on 30th March 2021. Of the 56 deaths, 

  • 44 in NCD, 
  • 3 in West Sepik,
  • 2 each in WNB, 
  • 2 WHP and 
  • 2 Western Province,
  • 1 Enga,
  • 1 Jiwaka and 
  • 1 Morobe province.


27 February 2021 Covid-19 Update 

PNG reported 47 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday 26 February, increasing the country’s total cases to 1,275 and the total number of deaths from COVID-19 to 13.

The latest cases were reported in 

  • West Sepik, 
  • West New Britain, 
  • East New Britain,
  • Central, East Sepik and in the
  •  National Capital District.


31 January 2021 Covid-19 Update 

As of January 31, there has been 895 COVID-19 cases and 9 deaths reported in PNG. From the period of February 1 to 7, there have been 28 new cases:

  • 15 from WNB, 
  • 7 from Western,
  • 3 from the NCD,
  • 1 from New Ireland, 
  • 1 from Central Province, and 
  • 1 from Madang.

Weekly Updates - April 2021

Confirmed coronavirus cases (as of Monday 1st April 2021) is 6,475 confirmed cases with 60 deaths across the country. 

According to the Official Covid-19 website(covid19.info.gov.pg), the 5 provinces with the highest number of Covid-19 cases are:
  • NCD  – 2, 945
  • Western  –1,472
  • West New Britain – 201
  • West Sepik  – 327
  • Morobe  – 262

Summary table of Cases and Deaths

Here is the data table for the graph. As mentioned, The deaths are at 1% of the cases recorded. See the table below.

covid 19 updates png