An Australian volunteer who was doing whatever volunteers do in PNG.
I was there for 2 years until Dec 2005 .. I hope I made the most of it.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Mystical Infrastructure Inverse Relationship

The thought has just occurred to me that it seems PNG, or Lae in particular, runs on some kind of infrastructure share arrangement. A kind of inverse relationship is happening between the potholes in the road and the number of blackouts we have.

Touch wood, but it has been a little while since we have had significant power outages. When I first arrived it seemed that every second day the power would go off. In fact on the first morning of starting this job, I had not been in the office for 20 minutes before the power went off.

Yet the roads I remember were not in a bad shape. The road from Nadzab to town was great in fact. Apparently it used to have a massive reputation for being absolutely shocking. Around town they were in a state of repair, but after a month of being here the roads throughout the place were great.

Now though it is a different story. Driving into town is a test of skill - though this has to do mainly with the pipe line being laid from Unitech to town and all the mess they have left behind. On Tuesday I went down past the SP Brewery and some of the holes there were bigger than the Land Cruiser we were in and almost as deep. Coming back from Nadzab after Mt Wilhelm and I remember noticing for the first time that holes were appearing in the road.

The worst part is that all these are going to get worse as the rainy season we are in continues. Hopefully the power will continue to stay good.