Ombudsman Commission Intervention in Road Rehabilitation and Infrastructure Projects In East New Britain Province

The East New Britain Provincial Administration (ENBPA) and the Rabaul District Development Authority (RDDA) had agreed to rehabilitate the Talvat Ring Road after having discussions with the Ombudsman Commission (OC) on the deteriorating conditions of the road.

The Ombudsman Commission began investigations pursuant to Section 219 of the Constitution and Section 13 of the Organic Law on the Ombudsman Commission after receiving information on the appalling conditions of a 70-kilometre ring road which extends from Talvat to Baai and Matalau to Rabaul town in the Kombiu Local Level Government of Rabaul District.

The Commission wrote to the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Rabaul DDA the Governor of East New Britain Province and the Provincial Administrator of ENBPA to look into the issue and provide funding assistance for the rehabilitation works.

The Commission pointed to them that its purpose under Section 218(a) of the Constitution is to ensure that all governmental bodies are responsive to the needs and aspirations of the People and that it is the right of every citizen to have access to better road and to participate in economic activities.

OC’s investigations reveal that the road was neglected since 1994 after the volcanic eruptions and the road conditions deteriorated thereafter which makes it difficult for motor vehicles to travel to and from Rabaul town to Nordup, Baai, and Talvat where most people walk from Baai village to Nordup to reach road access.

It also reveals that during the volcanic eruptions, the people from Nordup and Talvat were resettled at the Gelegele and Sikut Resettlement centres and the East New Britain Provincial Government and the Kombui LLG had not carried out assessment and rehabilitation of the road services and other basic services which are needed by the people.

After having active engagements with the respective stakeholders, the Commission received positive responses from the Governor of East New Britain and Rabaul DDA that they have made allocations from their 2023 and 2024 budget appropriations and agreed to provide funds for the rehabilitation of the road.

The road was destroyed 29 years ago during the twin volcanic eruptions in 1994 and it remained cut off since then until the Commission’s intervention in February 2023.

The road if fully rehabilitated will be a major relief to the people of Kombiu LLG who have struggled with good road access for the last 29 years and it will boost economic activities along the coastline villages and improve the livelihood of the people.

The Commission will continue to follow up on the rehabilitation project until it is fully completed and commissioned for public use.

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