Arawa Photos Before the Crisis
Once upon a time, there was thriving coastal town on the east coast of the island of Bougainville.
Known as Arawa, it was built on an old coconut plantation that began along a beautiful sandy stretch of beach known locally as Loloho. The town stretched all the way to the port of Kieta.
It was a town in the shadow of the great Crown Prince Mountain Range that was home to one of the largest copper and gold mines of its time, the Panguna Copper Mine.
Arawa was home to many. It was home to the locals who watched as the mine grew and industry grew and the population of the outsiders grew.
It was home to expatriates who came to call it home. It was home to people from the New Guinea Islands and New Guinea mainland that came to work there. It was home to the thousands of settlers and drifters who arrived there, hoping to find some sort life. The population was just over 130,000 people with 3000 being expatriates.
It had banks, schools, modern, fully staffed hospitals and large shopping centers long before any other place in Papua New Guinea. It had buses and long wide graveled roads with no potholes. It had electricity and running water. It was a town of music and sound and the hustle, bustle of its modern streets was legendary all over an under-developed pacific.
On the weekends boats with sails unfurled cruised its waters while AFL and Rugby League games drew boisterous crowds and motorbike rallies were a huge annual event.
It was an amazing place, a happening spot for all those who lived there.
But one day it all changed….but that’s a story that only the survivors, the people of Arawa, Kieta, Panguna, Kongara and the nearby islands and those who called Arawa home at one time in their lives, can tell you about.
These photos where provided by Chris and Zhon of Bougainville. Thankyou and I am sharing them here.
Hope you all go to Arawa one day…even if you never called it home.
To Find out more on Bougainville and Arawa visit the Bougainville Tourism Office website. And learn more about Papua New Guinea here.