Boroko is a suburb of Port Moresby and is located between the CBD in Town and the Jackson International Airport at Seven Mile. Its neighboring suburbs are Korobosea, Hohola and Badili towards the coast.
It mainly comprises a residential and sports and recreation area and previously had a thriving commercial center. It has medium-to-high-covenant housing and is home to Papua New Guinea’s top civil servants and business leaders.
While most shops in the suburb closed, others such as the Brian Bell Plaza stayed open to this day. The recently opened Boroko vegetable market, which has attracted subsistence farmers from Sogeri and the Magi and Hiritano highways, is the latest addition to the suburb’s attractions.
The investment of K1.2 billion by the O’Neill government in sporting facilities, which enabled Port Moresby to host the 2015 Pacific Games, has left Boroko with world-class facilities. The Oil Search funded National Football Stadium (NFS) – which was built at what was previously the Lloyd Robson Oval at Four Mile – opened its doors to PNG rugby league fans in 2016.
Boroko is traditionally owned by villagers from the Motuan village of Korobosea. It was previously grassland and a hunting ground for the indigenous communities before and after World War II.
The Port Moresby township did not extend further inland and was next to the Fairfax Harbor, until the war when the Jackson airstrip was upgraded to cater for the increase in military flights and the arrival of Australian and American military personnel. The establishment of the Pacific Islands Regiment (PIR) between 1951 and 1965 and the building of Murray Barracks at Four Mile contributed to the development and growth of Boroko in its early days.
The suburb eventually became home to middle-ranking Australian bureaucrats, who were recruited by the Australian colonial administration as staff at several Australian Commonwealth departments between the 1950s and early 1980s. Departments which had branches in Port Moresby included the Australian Army, Attorney General, Civil Aviation, Meteorological Bureau, National Development, Prime Minister’, Shipping and Transport and Works.
Boroko during the pre-independence period had a thriving commercial center with department stores, a cinema and markets. Companies such as Steamships and Burns Philip had a department store each. There were only two schools back then: St Joseph’s School run by the Catholic Church Boroko Parish and Port Moresby High School (predecessor to Port Moresby International School).
The economy of Boroko today revolves around the 10-14 small shops between the Garden City multistory building, the Boroko handicraft market, Boroko post office and the new Boroko vegetable market. A lot of the shops are Asian-owned except for the Stop N Shop Boroko supermarket, City Pharmacy’s Boroko shop and Brian Bell Plaza.
Business is generally on the decline in the suburb due to the loss of confidence by the private sector following the loss of the Papindo supermarket, Johnston’s Pharmacy and the popular Jacobi Medical Centre in a fire last year as well as increasing youth lawlessness.
Only time will tell if Boroko can get back its mojo following the commissioning of the world-class sporting facilities at the Bisini sports grounds in the last three years complimented by the opening of a number of hotels and guest houses. These include the Raintree Lodge, Citi-serviced Apartments & Motel, Wellness Lodge and Aku Lodge.
As a suburb of Port Moresby Boroko residents have access to a host of tertiary and secondary education providers.
The city has a thriving education sector led by both public and private education providers. University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), the country’s oldest university, will be celebrating 53 years as the country’s top tertiary education provider this year. Pacific Adventist University (PAU) is a 40-minute drive outside Port Moresby and Divine Word University has an NCD campus, which mainly caters for working class students. Other institutions include the Institute of Business Studies (IBS), Port Moresby Business College, Port Moresby Technical College, Institute of Education, International Training Institute (ITI) and the International Education Agency (IEA) TAFE at Ela Beach.
For secondary education there is the Port Moresby National School (POMNATS), Saint Josephs International Catholic College, Port Moresby Grammar School, Port Moresby International School (POMIS), Jubilee Catholic Secondary School, Caritas, Don Bosco Technological Institute (DBTI), Gordon Secondary School, Kilakila Secondary School, Marianville Secondary School and the De La Salle Secondary School.
There are a variety of property types found in Boroko ranging from houses to duplexes and units and apartments. Depending on how much you want to spend to rent or buy, properties located next to a healthcare provider or schools that offer international standard education are costlier.
The National Government-owned utility company Eda Ranu is responsible for water and sewerage services to Port Moresby residents. The water quality is guided by World Health Organization (WHO) Drinking Water Quality Guidelines.
The O’Neill government has invested millions of PNG Kina into public works in Port Moresby. Roads, causeways, bridges, roundabouts and a flyover (PNG’s first) were the main beneficiaries of this funding. To date the O’Neill government has reportedly spent K3.2 billion on roads and bridges nationwide since 2013 as part of its Medium Term Development Plan and National Transport Strategy 2011-2030.
The Stop N Shop-Boroko and the TST Four Mile supermarkets are the only large shops in the suburb. For access to more grocery variety you will have to drive out of the suburb to Town, Gordon and Waigani to access the following shops: Waterfront, Harbor City, Food World, RH Hypermarket, Supa Value Stoa (SVS) Two Mile, J Mart and the CPL Stop N Shop outlets. The Vision City mega mall – which offers the city’s only integrated shopping complex and is the largest in the Pacific Islands outside Australia and New Zealand – is a 10 to 15 minute drive from Boroko.
Boroko like other Port Moresby suburbs has a tropical climate with temperatures averaging over 25 °C annually. The PNG capital gets less rain in a year and is relatively dry from May to November and wet in December through to April in the new year.
There are a number of night clubs in Boroko, though there are some that have a cover charge. The Paddy’s Bar and The Loft are located principally in Boroko. Other clubs in the city are the Royal Papua Yacht Club, The Aviat Club, Port Moresby Golf Club, The Country Club, Gold Club at Lamana Hotel and The Cosmopolitan at Vision City.
Boroko is within the vicinity of Port Moresby’s major healthcare providers. The publicly-funded Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) is PNG’s national referral hospital and home to trainee-doctors from the UPNG School of Medicine and Health Sciences. It has an Accidents & Emergency Department that is open 24 hours and charges its patients a subsidized fee unlike private sector providers, who often enforce a pay-first policy.
Other healthcare providers include the Pacific International Hospital (PIH), Paradise Private Hospital, Saint Mary’s Hospital, 2K Medical Clinic, Port Moresby Medical Service, Korobosea Clinic, and Aspen Medical at Konedobu.
For a medical emergency Saint John Ambulance can be contacted on the toll free number 111 and provide a 24-hour service. Police can be contacted on toll free number 112 or landline 3244200. The toll free number for Fire is 110 or 3255188/3122756/3122746.