The Ombudsman Commission has conducted a series of inspections in the Kikori District, with the aim of addressing critical issues faced by local communities and government institutions. These inspections serve as a means to assess challenges and gather information that will inform future actions and interventions by the Commission.
During these inspections, which included various locations within the Kikori District, including Orokolo Bay, Faia Village, Baimuru Station, and Kerema Town, the Ombudsman Commission identified pressing issues that require immediate attention and support from the government. The findings of these inspections shed light on the urgent need for improved government service delivery and assistance in these regions, and they serve as a guide for potential interventions by the Ombudsman Commission.
Specifically, the inspection of Orokolo Bay’s health centre revealed several critical issues, including a shortage of medical drugs, delays in the construction of a new building, safety concerns in the old health centre facility, insufficient funding, and inadequate staff housing.
In Faia Village, severe challenges were identified, such as the absence of essential services like healthcare and communication. The lack of an aid post has resulted in preventable deaths, and the closure of a crucial clinic left the community without access to vital medical services. Additionally, the absence of mobile network coverage and reliance on a logging company has presented significant obstacles to the community.
At Baimuru Station, critical issues were found concerning the local health centre. Delays in furniture procurement have hindered the opening of a new building, and the centre lacks essential utilities such as water supply and power connection, forcing nursing officers to rely on torches for emergency services. Shortages of dinghies for patient transfers and infrequent doctor visits have further impacted healthcare delivery.
Lastly, the Commission’s visit to Kerema Town highlighted challenges in administration, governance, and infrastructure. Key issues included improper appointments, the absence of a governing board for the Gulf Provincial Health Authority, and extended power outages affecting both Kerema Hospital and the town itself.
In summary, the Ombudsman Commission’s inspections in the Kikori District have highlighted the immediate need for attention and intervention. It is crucial to ensure that government services are accessible and that the well-being and quality of life for the people of Kikori and neighbouring Local Level Governments (LLGs) are improved.