80,000 persons face starvation in PNG’s Porgera Valley

Photo: Kindupan Kambii/Facebook

About 80,000 persons in Papua New Guinea Porgera Valley would soon be running out of food supplies and other goods and services, according to Enga Governor Sir Peter Ipatas.
Ipatas said this after the main road from Wabag to Pogera mine was cut off following the Mulitaka landslide last month.

He said people in Porgera did not make gardens and grow food crops due to changing weather patterns experienced in the area throughout the year.

“Most communities in Porgera Valley and the mine area depended entirely on store goods and supplies because of the poor weather conditions,” he said.

“Disaster is looming because the entire population would soon go hungry.”
Ipatas urged Mulitaka people to allow a temporary bypass to ensure basic services reach Porgera Paiela until a new road could be built.

He said apart from Mulitaka local level government (LLG) area, people in Porgera Urban, Porgera Rural and Paiela-Hewe LLG would be affected if the access road continued closed.

“People affected by natural disaster must see in their heart to allow the temporary bypass,” he said.

“The Porgera mine was just opened and we don’t want to close down the mine again.”

Ipatas said every stakeholder and concerned party including the Government needed to work together and address the affected people to recover and restore their lives.

“They have to be relocated to a new area where the new road would be built,” Ipatas said.

“It will take up to three years for the Mulitaka people to rebuild their lives.”

Meanwhile, Mobil Oil New Guinea has donated 40,000 liters of diesel valued at about K190,000(US$49,356.)to help the relief and recovery efforts at Mulitaka on Monday.

ExxonMobil PNG Limited chairperson and managing director Tera Shandro said the fuel donation made by the subsidiary company of ExxonMobil was in addition to the prior commitment of K1m(US$260,000) in financial assistance announced on 11 June.

“Mobil, which has operated in the country for more than 100 years, stands with the people of Enga impacted by this tragedy,” Shandro said in a statement.

“We would also like to extend our appreciation for all of the response personnel onsite supporting those impacted, as well as to the LANCO Welgris and its leadership for graciously donating tankage and logistical support to transport our fuel to site.”

Mobil operates fuel terminals in locations across the country, including Port Moresby, Madang and Lae.

Fuel from its Lae terminal was transported to a Welgris terminal in Hagen and then onward to aid the relief efforts in Mulitaka on Monday.

Both Mobil and Welgris representatives were on the ground for delivery of the cargo.