CHILDREN from the special mining lease villages surrounding the Porgera mine have been warned to stay away from the operation areas, especially the open pit.
According to a statement from the Porgera Joint Venture, trespassing by children continues to be a problem for the mine operation.
Of the number of illegal miners entering the mine in a month, it is estimated that 5 per cent are children.
The mine’s community development section carried out a school outreach programme recently tio educate children on the dangers of illegally entering the mine pit.
It targeted seven schools. Children enter into the mine area to look for food or scrap materials.
The schools targeted were Mungulep Primary, Porgera Station Primary, Anjokale Elementary, Alipis Elementary, Yarik School and Paiam Primary.
The four messages communicated were:
- The mine is a dangerous place. You can get killed, badly injured or risk living with a disability for the rest of your life;
- not everyone who gets injured on the mine site dies;
- the Government has laws to punish parents who do not protect their children from danger; and
- That communities need children who will stay in school and become good leaders in future.
At the Aumbi Elementary School on April 10, community development manager Jacqueline Nen told the children that there were many other options for a playing field and the open pit was not one of them.
“The open pit is a dangerous place for a child and you can get hurt in so many ways; you can get hit by a truck or machine, you can get chased by security dogs or hit by rocks and boulders.
“There are other options for a playing field, either at home or in the village. The pit is no playing field,” Nen said