These island “asples” or villagers in Madang providing homes for rent, use the opportunity to earn money from rent, favours and other requests from their tenants as they do not have the land space to make gardens or cash crops. There are some good people there with the genuine heart to accommodate people and maintain their livelihood through Rent payments but most Police reports have highlighted an attitude or lack of respect towards tenants by these Island villagers from Madang. From the spectacular Siar islands to Savun, Panitibun, Ulifun, Billia and Karanget Island; they all bear a similar trend of induced Marijuana and homemade brew consumption and crimes that have poisoned the vibrancy of Island dwelling. Madang is not friendly and peaceful as it used be and this has tainted the beautiful maritime province.
Below is an incident report portraying the selfishness and perverse attitudes of a landlord known for using marijuana, making and consuming homemade brew, harbouring criminals in exchange for cash and entertainment, requesting sexual favours and other unacceptable grudges towards his tenants.
There are affordable rent houses at Ulifun Island in Madang. Rent range from K50 to K400 a fortnight depending on the condition of the house or type of accommodation.
There are semi-permanent houses and village style houses. The semi-permanent houses are constructed with timber and roofing iron and the walling constructed from the rachis of a Sago palm. Some are constructed with timber and a thatched roof weaved with sago palm leaves.
Village houses are made the traditional way from bush logs and Sago palms. Some Village houses may have bamboo strip flooring or wooden planks while there are also a few houses built on the ground with a dirt floor.
The kitchen and toilet facilities are separated from the main house. Most toilets are located along the shore line and build in a manner that an opening in the floor is positioned over the water so when the sea rolls in it dilutes and breaks down any waste matter which then becomes part of the seabed.
There is a constant supply of fresh water collected from wells and it is hauled up with a bucket attached to a rope.
Ulifun Island has ferry services to the mainland and urban area. It costs K1 to get to town. There are three banana boats (dinghy) operators who reside on Ulifun Island providing the ferry services. Anton, Francis and Maus Grass provide the ferry services to people of Ulifun and neighbouring islands. Some people also living on the mainland along the coast rely on the ferry service as a more convenient means of getting to town. The picture above shows a make shift jetty at Ulifun Island made from five coconut logs strapped together. It is very helpful for the woman who load their goods to market at the Nelrik boat stop in town.
There is no Electricity supply on Ulifun Island and most people on the island use battery powered lanterns and torches when it gets dark. Others rely on solar power as a source of electricity for lights and for charging their mobile phones while some use electric generators that run on fuel. Otherwise you can always make an open fire and sit under the stars and watch the moon rise.
It’s a quiet and simple way of life at Ulifun Island but a house is only a house if there are no people in it and it’s the people living in the houses and the way of life that makes Ulifun Island truly, a unique and wonderful place to live.