After being delayed due to the COVID19 lockdown coupled with logistic difficulties, project activities are slowly picking up at the Teptep project site. Infrastructure development including the constructions of a nursery and poultry sheds started last month following the shipment of building materials by air from Lae. Milling of timbers locally had also contributed to the delay as consumables for the chainsaw had to be transported from Lae to Madang by land; onto Malamai by boat and reached Teptep by tracking for two days from the coast – Malamai. Teptep, on the border sharing Kabwum in Morobe and Rai Coast in Madang provinces is accessible only by air and tracking.
Acting Rural Development Officer for Teptep, Anno Darkop, while acknowledging the efforts of many players involved said it was good to see work on the constructions eventually started despite the many challenges faced along the way. “I am grateful to the project staff at NARI in facilitating the movement of much needed materials across and the commitment of local youths who assisted with transporting the chainsaw consumables from Malamai. Without the commitment and efforts from them, the construction of these infrastructures in a remote setting like this would not happen. Now that all the materials are here, I will ensure to get the job going and get it done on schedule’. Due to logistic challenges timber requirements for the two buildings is being milled locally. The construction of the sheds and chainsaw operation are being undertaken using local talents. The sheds are scheduled to be completed by the end of October.
Mr Darkop has also established a seed multiplication garden, where he has already started distributing planting materials to locals; including establishing mini seed gardens at various strategic locations in the area (lead farmers’ fields) to further expand distribution of seed materials. He added the same would be done for livestock, as soon as breeding stock are on hand. An incubator is planned to be fitted into the poultry shed to improve hatching of eggs. Other livestock planned for breeding and distributed under the project include: ducks, sheep, goat and fingerlings.