A Chinese company has just publicly launched its drone delivery service. JD.com has started a trial of the program in rural China, testing drop-offs outside of Beijing and in Jiangsu, Shaanxi, and Sichuan provinces, during the country’s “Singles’ Day” shopping festival this past Friday. “There have been thousands of trial flights, with a portion of…
While we dream of owning our home outright, it’s the mortgage that’s become the biggest burden.
For most low to middle class Papua New Guineans like myself; the huge cost of living, low wages, difficulties of accessibility to goods and services and struggling to make ends meet day in and day out with little room for leisure, is the biggest burden and home ownership through legitimate processes, is of little value compared to food and security that would be more of a priority then home ownership.
In Australia, according to a research by Australian Superannuation MLC, the perception of a comfortable lifestyle had shifted significantly upwards in recent decades, the Australia today reported. MLC’s research shows that the new Australian dream is paying off the mortgage with almost 80% of Australians placing outright home ownership as their most important priority.
The perception that urbanized Papua New Guineans have is that if you live in the city/town your social grade is higher than one coming from a village in the rural area. In fact this is totally bogus and untrue considering the regular cost of electricity, water, rent and communication put up with in the city/town. Most urban dwellers live on the outskirts in cramped housing, illegal settlements and compounds usually infested with criminal elements is in my opinion a social downgrade.
Someone living in a permanent building as opposed to someone living in a “bush material” house or house made from bio-degradable material would be of higher standing within the Low to middle class people of Papua New Guinea. More Papua New Guineans in the rural areas are flocking into the urban outskirts to find jobs and opportunity to improve lifestyle and living standards but end up consorting to the norm of living in settlements on the outskirts of the city/town. Some fortunate enough to have friends, relatives or tribal clansman “Wantok” living in suitable housing within the city/town over time become a liability and a burden to the home owners.
However, I hope that this article will somehow change the mind set of the dilemma that urbanized Papua New Guineans who live in the city/town mostly the percentage occupying settlements on state land have of a perceived lifestyle that is better than living in the village.
With a demonstrated change in mindset and an adjustment to the conventional low to middle class standards of housing and lifestyle, the average Papua New Guinean in the village whether employed or unemployed can live their dream. One of the most positive methods I have witnessed is getting involved in Groups, Associations, Cooperate Societies and do business in Agriculture & Livestock. Now we have Micro-banks like Mibank and National Development Bank that have credit schemes designed to address the lack of access to credit by small enterprises in Papua New Guinea to start up and develop business and money making. It just takes hard work and commitment and this would be the stepping stone. Having and demonstrating a mindset of an island resort home or home in a eco-tourism environment, an ecofriendly lifestyle and off grid living with all the modern conveniences of solar electricity and water purification methods in place, you’re on your way to a healthy lifestyle and this in my opinion is home ownership without mortgage.
*Wantok Literally translated from Pidgin wantok means “one talk”, but in reality like most pidgin words it’s definition encompasses a wide scope. Wantok is a term used to denote anyone who is from your family or anyone who is a close, or sometimes not so close, friend.
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.