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Morobe Province: Wikis


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Coordinates: 6°50′S 146°40′E / 6.833°S 146.667°E / -6.833; 146.667

Capital: Lae
Area: 34,500 km² (4th)
Districts: Bulolo District
Finschhafen District
Huon District
Kabwum District
Lae District
Markham District
Menyamya District
Nawae District
Tewae-Siassi District
(as of 2000)
539,725 (2nd)
Population Density: 15.6
(since 2002)
Luther Wenge (since 1997)
Papua new guinea morobe province.png
Map of Papua New Guinea highlighting Morobe

Morobe Province (previously named Adolfhafen in German New Guinea) is a province on the northern coast of Papua New Guinea. The provincial capital, and largest city, is Lae. The province covers 34,500 km², including 719 km² maritime area, with a population of 539,725 (2000 census). It includes the Huon Peninsula, the Markham River, and delta, and coastal territories along the Huon Gulf. The province has nine administrative districts, and 171 languages are spoken, including Kâte and Yabim. English and Pidgin English are common languages in the urban areas, and in some areas forms of Pidgin German are mixed with the native language.


Economic base

Morobe Province's economy has grown at the rate of approximately two percent per annum since 2006. The economic base of the Morobe Province depends on the production and harvesting of cocoa, coffee, copra and sugar, and tropical fruits (bananas, coconuts). Oil and gas industries are emerging, as is new mining and energy industry.[1] Deteriorating roads and the lack of manufacturing and transportation/communication infrastructure impedes economic development.[2]


Papua New Guinea is part of the Australasia ecozone, which also includes Australia, New Zealand, eastern Indonesia, and several Pacific island groups, including the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Through eco-tourism, the Province capitalizes on its spectacular scenery, readily accessible diving locales, and its mountains, and jungles to offer tourists rich experiences in coral reef, rain forest, sub-alpine and alpine and tropical habitats. The Province's jungles and forests are also popular for viewing over 1000 of species of birds and mammals, including the colorful Raggiana Bird of Paradise, the flightless Cassowary and varieties of macropods, including the Tree-Kangaroo and over 15,000 species of plants. The Huon Peninsula, which comprises most of the provincial land-mass, is a unique montane eco-region that offers a variety of plants and conditions found no where else in the world. Its coral reefs and volcanic inlets are home to 1000s of species of fish and oceanic life that thrive in the reefs and wrecks.


The Province sends nine members to the national parliament. and has 14 members of the Tutumang the provincial assembly. Tutumang means "the coming together," and the Province maintains that name for its assembly, as is permitted under the Organic Law on Provincial Government and Local Government.


The population of Morobe speak over 171 languages, representing 27 linguistic families. The two main languages are Kâte and Yabim, Kâte being spoken in the mountainous hinterlands and Yabim, on the coastal areas, particularly on the Huon peninsula coast. Along the coast and in the Markham Valley, the Austronesia family of languages predominate. The Non-Austronesia languages are heard most commonly in the mountain regions. English, and especially Pidgin English, are the common urban languages in Lae. In some areas, especially where the German missionaries maintained their Missions, such as Sattelberg and Finschhafen, pidgin German might be mixed with Kâte.


The relative youth of the Morobe province population puts an increasing strain on schools and education services to combat illiteracy and its accompanying problems. Eight percent of the population (children) depend on twenty percent of the population (adults) for economic support, and population continues to grow at about 2.8 percent per year, which is higher than other developing countries.[2]

World War II

The Morobe province was a key campaign site during World War II. In 1942, the Japanese established strong supply bases on Salamaua-Lae campaign 1943 was a series of actions in which the Australian and United States forces sought to capture two major Japanese bases, one in the town of Lae, and another one at Salamaua. The campaign to take the Salamaua and Lae area began with the Australian attack on Japanese positions near Mubo, on 22 April 1943 and ended with the fall of Lae on 16 September 1943, in Operation Postern. The campaign was notable not only for its classic defense maneuvers at the Landing at Nadzab and the brutal hand-to-hand combat at Salamaua; Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th President of the United States, saw his sole 13 minutes of combat on a bombing mission over Lae. Although the plane he was supposed to fly was shot down, with no survivors, his flight in B-26 Marauder had repercussions throughout the Pacific theater. Sent as an observer, with instructions to report up the line to Roosevelt, to Congress, and to the Navy brass that the conditions in the Pacific were deplorable, the men had third–rate equipment to fight Japan's first class planes. The effort needed another 6,800 trained and experienced men, plus better supplies, provisions, and generally a higher priority in the war effort.[3]

The Lae War Cemetery is located adjacent to the Botanical Gardens in the center of the city of Lae. The cemetery was begun in 1944 by the Australian Army Graves Services, and the Commonwealth Graves Commission assumed responsibility for it in 1947. The Lae Memorial commemorates 300 men of the Australian forces (including Merchant Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, and the Australian Army) who lost their lives and have no known grave. It contains 2300–2800 burials, of which 444 are unidentified.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Morobe Provincial Government, Economy and Industry. Accessed 14 September 2009.
  2. ^ a b Morobe Provincial Government, Issues. Accessed 14 September 2009.
  3. ^ Robert Dallek, Lone Star Rising, p. 237.
  4. ^ Digger Unofficial History, Lae War Cemetery. Accessed 13 September 2009.


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