Conflict-Affected Communities Work Towards Building Peace
Port Moresby – In collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), conflict-affected communities of Munhiu, Pambal-Wolmesa, Megi and Yame in Southern Highlands province recently launched their Community Peace for Development Plans (CPDPs) and community-driven projects to assist communities in strengthening and sustaining local capacities for peace as well promoting sustainable development. “This plan is the first of its kind and a useful tool for the community and the provincial government in our efforts to build peace in this province. I am delighted to see this community resource centre that will be used for various trainings as well as skills development programs to empower especially women and youth,” said Ambros Arima, Local Level Government Manager for Kagua.
The projects launched include community resource centres and safe-drinking water points. The need for these infrastructures came about as a result of the community-level planning on peace and development facilitated by IOM, local authorities, and community facilitators.
IOM equipped the community resource centres with furniture and solar lighting to make community members feel comfortable and safe especially during evening meetings. The resource centres will be used for various purposes including community meetings and trainings for women and youth, peacebuilding, mediation, and reconciliation. The rain-fed catchments will provide safe drinking water to all members of the community.
The launch was attended by IOM, provincial, district, and local level government authorities, community members, and partners.
Three tribal groups present at the launch in Megi community agreed to resolve tensions and joined hands as a sign of unity. They agreed to engage in a mediation and reconciliation process and aspire to see peace prevail in Megi.
The Provincial Administrator for Southern Highlands, Jerry Sonk David thanked community members, government staff, IOM, and the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund for successful launches of the CPDPs and community projects. He pledged PGK 50,000 for each community on behalf of the provincial government, highlighting that the funds will be used to support the delivery of community projects identified in the CPDPs.
The development of the CPDPs and material assistance to deliver selected community projects were made possible with the support of IOM, the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund, and the Southern Highlands Provincial Administration.