Waste project worries resort

National

THERE is an ongoing environmental assessment while the construction of the K70 million sewerage project in Kokopo town goes ahead, says East New Britain administrator Wilson Matava to concerns by the operator of a nearby resport.
The management of Rapopo Plantation Resort are worried the sewerage plant at Ulaveo will be too close to the resort and also put at risk dolphins in the lagoon.
Resort executive director James Ipang said the treatment plant would be pumping waste into the pristine sea water near Kokopo and Rabaul towns.
He said the crystal-clear waters were a breeding and feeding ground for a pod of 300 dolphins directly in front of the plant, so other alternatives should be considered.
Matava said the project, to be built in two phases by China Jhiangsu International and supervised by Islands Design and Engineering, was a big investment and the provincial government and administration were mindful of health and tourism risks.
“We are mindful of concerns of the business community,” he said.
Matava said the provincial physical planning board had approved for waste to be pumped out to sea in the first five years.
He said the first phase was expected to be completed by mid-next year. An assessment report will follow in the next two years with the commencement of the second phase of the project.
Matava stressed the second phase would focus on a more sustainable and environment-friendly treatment plant.
“There are technologies to mitigate environmental issues and those will be captured in the second phase of the project,” he said/.

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