Address shortfall in trunk infrastructure to move Papua New Guinea forward

Trunk infrastructure such as large pipes used for distributing water to various areas (water mains); road that connects town to city, village to town and vice-versa (main road); electricity distribution line; and primary pipeline in a sewerage system (main sewer) are important for orderly development. However, in Papua New Guinea (PNG), trunk infrastructure is either lacking or it is poorly maintained. The infrastructure must be constructed and regularly maintained to attract investment, provide more opportunities for employment and boost government revenue.

The National Research Institute (NRI) Spotlight Volume 16, Issue 5 titled “Addressing the deficit in trunk infrastructure across Papua New Guinea” by Logea Nao, Research Fellow at PNG NRI, looks at factors contributing to the deficit in trunk infrastructure as well as how to address the deficit in trunk infrastructure.

The deficit in trunk infrastructure in PNG can be attributed to the following:

  • High cost of providing trunk infrastructure;
  • Lack of clarity around whose responsibility it is to provide trunk infrastructure;
  • Inadequate human resource capacity to provide trunk infrastructure;
  • Shortages of land with proper titles where trunk infrastructure can be constructed; and
  • Lack of accountability in the provision of trunk infrastructure.

The shortage in trunk infrastructure can be addressed by the following:

  • Use economies of scale to reduce cost of providing trunk infrastructure;
  • Provide clarity on whose responsibility it is to provide trunk infrastructure;
  • Find sustainable funding options to provide and maintain trunk infrastructure; and
  • Provide accountability mechanisms for trunk infrastructure service providers and facilitators.

Addressing deficit in trunk infrastructure will unlock the potential of all sectors of the PNG economy and contribute to broad-based sustainable development in the country.

Authorised for release by:

Dr. Osborne O. Sanida
Director, PNG NRI

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