Thursday, May 13, 2010

Housing Problems

By popular demand I am attempting to combat my natural laziness and resume updates to our blog… after a considerable break.

Housing Problems

Reported in the newspaper this week are problems that our trusty boys-in-blue are facing in Lae, the second city of PNG.

When the local health authority recently declared the housing that 100 Lae police officers and their families occupy as ‘unfit for habitation’ they gave them a deadline to vacate. As the deadline approaches the officers announced to the press that they had moved into home made tents but have left their families in the condemned houses. The paper offers no explanation as to why the families have been left behind.

The officers took Friday off from official duties to cut bamboo with which to construct their new tented accommodation. The officers now plan to move their families back to their traditional homes, stay on in the tents, but not to work on police business until the government addresses their housing concerns.

By strange coincidence the local health authorities here in Port Moresby recently condemned the office building that I work in. The air conditioning had not worked for some months and the carpets, long overdue a clean, had taken on the appearance of a school science project. We were instructed that the building was not fit for habitation. The imaginative solution (apart from cleaning the carpets) was to get all staff to work just halftime, either mornings or afternoons. This apparently assuaged the health authorities and allowed at least the semblance of work-as-normal to continue.

The carpets were cleaned the next weekend and the condemnation lifted. It took about a week to get in contact with all the staff and get them to come back to work fulltime. The air conditioning was also fixed. It lasted about a month and has now broken again. Oh well, at least the weather is cooling down a bit now that the trade winds are picking up.