Wabag

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Wabag
Wabag from space
Wabag from space
Wabag is located in Papua New Guinea
Wabag
Wabag
Location within Papua New Guinea
Coordinates: 5°29′S 143°42′E / 5.483°S 143.700°E / -5.483; 143.700
Country Papua New Guinea
Province Enga Province
District Wabag District
LLG Wabag Urban LLG
Elevation 1,830 m (6,000 ft)
Population (2000)
 • Total 4,072
Languages
 • Main languages Enga, Tok Pisin
 • Traditional language Enga
Time zone AEST (UTC+10)

Wabag is the capital of Enga Province, Papua New Guinea. It is the least populous provincial capital in the country. It is on the Lai River; the Highlands Highway passes through the town, between Mount Hagen and Porgera. Europeans first visited the site in 1938-39[1] A radio camp and airstrip were established in 1938-39 but restrictions on transportation and the surrounding land's infertility long inhibited Wabag's development.[2]

History[edit]

A regional outpost of the Western Highlands District under the Australian Administration of Papua and New Guinea, shortly before Independence in 1975 much of the Enga-speaking region of the Western Highlands was separated into a discrete District and then, at Independence, Province with Wabag as the Provincial Headquarters.

Wabag today[edit]

There is a dense rural population and coffee and pyrethrum are widely grown in food gardens as cash crops though depredations during tribal fights and difficulties in marketing have inhibited the development of a significant commercial agriculture sector and in any case it is Mount Hagen, not Wabag, that is the commercial metropole. Law and order problems, considerable violent crime and chronic house break-ins have continue to compromise the amenity of town life.[3] A fine public library established by the Australian administration immediately before Independence in 1975 is long since dispersed, book pages being desirable for rolling cigarettes and reading books not having taken hold. The Enga Provincial Government buildings have been burned to the ground more than once.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Wabag
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 22
(71)
22
(71)
22
(71)
22
(71)
22
(71)
22
(71)
21
(69)
21
(69)
22
(71)
22
(71)
22
(71)
22
(71)
21.8
(70.7)
Average low °C (°F) 11
(51)
11
(51)
11
(51)
11
(51)
11
(51)
10
(50)
10
(50)
10
(50)
10
(50)
10
(50)
10
(50)
11
(51)
10.5
(50.5)
Precipitation mm (inches) 287
(11.3)
297
(11.7)
353
(13.9)
292
(11.5)
185
(7.3)
140
(5.5)
124
(4.9)
193
(7.6)
264
(10.4)
267
(10.5)
262
(10.3)
307
(12.1)
2,971
(117)
Source: Weatherbase[4]

Further reading[edit]

E.A. Markham. A Papua New Guinea Sojourn. Manchester: Carcanet Press Ltd, 1998. E.A. Markham was a media co-ordinator in Wabag in 1983-85 working as a VSO volunteer.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Wabag." Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 4 November 2009. The noted statement in Encyclopædia Britannica is likely to be a typographical error, as the well-known and amply documented Mick and Danny Leahy expedition of 1933 proceeded on from the Wahgi Valley to the site of Wabag and then up the Ambum Valley.
  2. ^ "Wabag." Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 4 November 2009.
  3. ^ E.A. Markham. A Papua New Guinea Sojourn. Manchester: Carcanet Press Ltd, 1998.
  4. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Wabag, Papua New Guinea". Weatherbase. 2011.  Retrieved on November 24, 2011.