A 42-meter footbridge that will serve coffee farmers in Omkolai in the Gumine District of Simbu province has been successfully completed and ready to be opened in early September 2023.

The footbridge is a government funded project under the Coffee Industry Corporation’s Coffee Access Road Project with an investment of K529, 000.00.

According to chief executive officer Charles Dambui, he said the project span was for three months however he was pleased that the footbridge was completed in 2 months.

“This is an impact project for the local people in the Maril-Minimbi area and we are very happy that this has taken less time to complete it by the contractor Rumaris Investment Ltd.”

Dambui said the footbridge will serve coffee farmers from both Maril to Minimbi to bring their coffee to the roadside and to Kundiawa to sell.

Managing Director of Rumaris Investment Ltd, Benson Rumbai thanked the government through CIC for realising the need of the people in the area and enabling the project to come to its completion.

Rumbai said many contractors did not want to take up projects in such remote and harsh locations, but when he went into the area and saw how this footbridge would really help the people, he willingly accepted the challenge to see that the project was delivered within the timeframe given.

Rumaris Senior Engineer Andrew Pakau said it was a very challenging and a daunting experience as all heavy equipment and materials had to be manually carried to the project site. “To deliver this project, it took up most of our time to transport and carry the materials to the project site (Maril River). The materials were transported from Kundiawa to Omkolai on vehicles but from the roadside down to the Maril River, men and women carried all the materials down. It was both physically and

geographically difficult to do this but with the help of the locals, we have delivered this 42 meter footbridge under the Department of Works standards.”

Coffee farmer and landowner Joshua Kobla said he remembered as a little boy that someone stood at the riverside and prayed for a bridge many years ago. “I am amazed at how all these heavy materials were brought down and the bridge now completed to assist us. It is through coffee which has brought this development into our community and I am grateful.”

Dambui said that the footbridge was previously selected under the PPAP Project in 2019, however due to lack of funding, it never eventuated. With assistance from the National Government, CIC carried on the project to assist farmers in Bokil & Polma where majority of the coffee farmers are.

There are more than 2000 plus coffee farmers in the area with more hectares of coffee farms cultivated.

The fully constructed Minimbi-Maril footbridge in Omkolai, Gumine District, Simbu Province.

Charles Dambui
Chief Executive Officer

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