Many of you would agree that when the trees came down at Ela Beach to make way for the four lane road we now have and the proposed development that was to commence, I was quite disappointed. Disappointed not just because there would be no shades after the trees got the chop but also the historical significance of Ela Beach would be “swept” out to sea.
Turning the clock forward to the current circumstances and it’s fair to say that the “beach life” has improved dramatically.
Despite the lack of shades, residents are heading to the beach in numbers to enjoy the Ela Beach ‘facelift’. The beach is more cleaner, it’s more positive and welcoming layout and the fact that the number of families heading there either to have a swim, just sit around and enjoy the cool breeze or for the more active, a jog on the foothpath – it shows that the development is having an intrinsic effect that’s putting on new fresh and positive approach to life.
Even just walking along the footpath, you can see other like minded residents giving you a glimpse and a smile indicating they’re thoroughly enjoying this new development that’s been renamed Era Kone to signify the traditional connection of the Motu Koitabu people, the traditional landowners of Port Moresby.
The weather hasn’t been too pleasant for us residents as a heatwave struck across the city in the last couple of weeks. That really hasn’t stopped the “beachgoers” but rather encouraged them more for a splash on the beach to keep cool from the heat.
It’s great to see young families heading to the beach with their smaller ones to give that family feeling and togetherness.
So the real effect of this development isn’t just the reopening of the beach for a swim, there’s an indirect effect on the people who frequent the beach to give them that positive spin in their life that’s been missing.
That said, the people are more aware of just how important it is to look after these important facilities and likewise for the city authority to continue investing in the beach so that it is a safe and pleasant area for everyone to come and have a good time.
It’s been interesting to also see a number of expatriates heading down there to catch the cool breeze and in some cases going for a swim. That wasn’t the case in the past due to safety and security reasons.
More good people need to get out there because a collective presence can only result in a positive outcome. The more we hide behind the curtains, the safety and security issues will continue to be a risk just because of a minority.
The removal of the trees has “opened-up” the beach. It’s made it more transparent where illegal or unacceptable social behavior can easily be identifiable giving security an opportunity to act on swiftly.
Port Moresby residents are loving the beach. Get out there and enjoy with your family!