Port Moresby youths take public health initiative.

I have been involved with a new group called Youth With Initiative PNG (YWIPNG) and we are close to being incorporated with PNG’s Investments Promotions Authority (IPA), the body responsible for registration of associations, NGO, businesses and companies etc.  

It has been a very hectic year for all of us, as we juggle our time between our formal employment and our civic/community volunteer work.

One of the major projects that we have identified and which we would like to start on next year is the refurbishment of the Kukipi Health Centre in the Gulf Province (See two of my recent posts (not so recent) which also has links to a documentary of the health centre).  This work we hope to be our first of many such projects to contribute towards the revival and maintenance of government health and other service delivery to the people of PNG.

Recently members of YWIPNG, in keeping with our name, took the initiative to do some volunteer work for the NCDC by cleaning and retrenching some of the city’s drainage close to our office at Korobosea, Port Moresby.



Many of the drains throughout our Capital City are in an appalling state.  They are filled with dirt and rubbish and at best look more like footpaths rather than drains.  The problem becomes overwhelming evident during the rainy season when these drains become clogged up and the water back-flows into the streets, causing unnecessary  flooding of the city streets.  

These drains with all the rubbish and pooling of water also pose a public health hazard to the city’s residents.  And because of the high fences erected around most city houses the problem of drainage does not become obvious as a community problem (out of sight out of mind).  The clean and maintenance of these drains is off-course supposed to be the NCDC’s but for one reason or another the NCDC workers are rarely seen doing any drainage maintenance work.  I wonder if there in fact a section within NCDC that is responsible for the city’s drainage.  We shall make an effort to find this out soon.

Anyway I identified a drainage area close to our YWIPNG office that looked as if it had been neglected for some time and was in desperate need of some drenching. I managed to get a group of very energetic youths in the 3 mile area and some from the Konedobu area and we got to work.Image

It took about 4 days for about 10 young gentlemen to transform the drain from the picture you see above to the one below. It was very satisfying working with these young lads who had great sense of humor and a willingness to take ownership of their local problems and be useful members of the community in which they lived in.  Talking to them I realised that most were much wiser than what most people think of them and most of them were genuine in wanting a happier, healthier community.


This is a link to a short video that I compiled of the youths at work.  It features Nelson (Nelo) one of the youths of 3 mile, who I remember as only a toddler when I was going through medical school in the late 90’s.



About Dr. Poyap J Rooney

Dr. Rooney is a medical doctor who has gained both his undergraduate medical degree and more recently his post graduate masters degree in clinical biochemistry at the University of Papua New Guinea.
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