The Gandep Project is an infrastructure project in central north Papua New Guinea on the Ramu River flood plain to support a remote area consisting of 170 villages with approximately 20,000 people; undertaken by HumeRidge Church of Christ, Toowoomba.
WHY: The main purpose of the project is to provide improved access via air and road to support emergency medical, educational and trade outcomes. Access to medical and education facilities is difficult for a significant proportion of the population. Local trade routes to Madang (town of approx. 30,000) take between 2 and 3 days each way and involve walking, canoeing and vehicle transport through difficult terrain.
The project is being undertaken in full consultation with local tribes and is aimed at supporting and improving their current lifestyle without imposing ‘western culture’.
HOW: The infrastructure project involves fundraising to purchase plant, machinery and materials to transport to the site via ship, land and river to upgrade the airfield, construct 2 bridges and road approaches, and construct 15km of road /track. The plant will be gifted to the communities and with support from Australia it is hoped that further access works will then be undertaken by trained locals. The locals will be able to self-determine their access priorities and needs.