By EVAH BANIGE
VILLAGERS and leaders raising pollution and royalty concerns from the operations of the Hidden Valley Mine are urged to consult the relevant authorities, Morobe Fisheries Management Authority (MFMA) chairman Isaac Pologo said on Tuesday.
Fresh calls were made at the weekend by Labu-Butu villagers to have an environmental impact assessment done by the Government to determine the extent of damage to the river systems, sea, and land.
They claimed that the marine life had been gravely depleted.
Labu Butu villagers and Wampar LLG councillors Jeffrey Tipi and Douglas Gedisa demanded instant action “to protect the livelihood” of the people from the effects of mining by Morobe Mining Joint Venture (MMJV).
But Mr Pologo called on the leaders to “stop making negative remarks and seek help” from relevant authorities.
“My office is the podium representing the provincial government and any matter on aquaculture or the marine ecosystem should be referred to my office first,” he said.
He said any outstanding issues the villagers had would be settled, adding that MMJV had already provided an initial funding of K50,000 to help address marine resource issues.
The funding would increase in the future, he said.
“With such assurance from the mining company, it would be better if the people acknowledge the working relationship that the company has tried to establish with them, instead of attacking them with negative remarks,” he said.
Mr Pologo also urged villagers to consult with MFMA on all matters related to fisheries.