Villagers cross border

Villagers cross border for food

April 22, 2020 from The National

VILLAGERS in a remote area of West Sepik are crossing the (Indonesian) border to access goods and services, provincial police commander Chief Insp Moses Ibsagi says.
Police not to stop them, as it was the only way to obtain food.

“Kwek villagers in Walsa local level government, Green River, continued defying SOE (state of emergency) orders and crossing into the border town of Senggi in Papua Province, which is about 20kms from the border.
“It takes about an hour for the villagers to walk to Senggi compared to about eight hours to drive to Vanimo.

They told me at Kwek village during my patrol along the border that I must not stop them because the PNG Government doesn’t look after them.

They say that the Indonesian government always cares for them.
And I told them that if they are infected with Covid-19, the PNG Government will be responsible for them and not the Indonesian government.

I told them that Indonesia is heavily infected with Covid-19 and they will have no time to care for PNG villagers. But they still insisted to cross into Indonesia despite the National Government banning the crossing along the border.

“So I deployed four police officer to Kwek to tell them to respect the Government’s lockdown orders.”
Insp Ibsagi said that he sympathised with them as there were no government services such as police, health or education there.

“There are no shops for them to buy basic food such as rice, sugar and salt,” he said.
“I’m urging the Vanimo-Green district development authority to budget K1million to provide food for these villagers so that they do not cross into Senggi to buy food during this time.”
Indonesia has about 7,000 Covid-19 cases with about 600 deaths.


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