Kokoda Porters & Guides to be insured

By Nellie Setepano - Post Courier

Porters and guides who assist trekkers along the rugged 96 kilometre Kokoda Track will soon be insured.

The insurance cover of all local porters and guides may tale a while (6-7 months) to formulate but they will be insured after all necessary preparations are done.

This was the assurance given by the Tourism Promotion Authority after a meeting with the Kokoda Track Porters and Guide Association in Port Moresby yesterday.

In its first meeting after an interim executive was formed, the association met with more than 60 local porters to discuss insurance cover among other issues. Tour operators as well as tourists were insured but porters and guides who fell sick or were wounded while assisting trekkers along the famous track usually sought medical help elsewhere or just went home to recover.

The association also discussed that a required weight of 25 kg per porter or guide should be imposed. Some 3000 youths including female carry packs for trekkers that weigh too much.
They were also cheated by operators who did not pay them adequately. Youths would at times carry packs and cover the required  distance but were not paid right after their services. 

A required minimum rate was also suggested so that porters and guides are not underpaid.

The porters and guides now carry ID Cards with photographs.



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