Forest project awaits word from Enga govt

National, Normal

The National, Monday, May 2, 2011

THE Woodlort forest project in Angi village, Wapenamanda, Enga, is still waiting for the provincial government to meet its commitments to revive it.
More than 24,000 trees were razed in September 2009 following the prolonged dry season, with damage estimated at K1,017,806.
Mostly gum and pine trees on about 25ha were torched in the blaze.
The provincial government has promised the project owner it would help with cash to revive the multi-million kina project but, so far, has failed to do so.
Project manager Jerry Pindao said the delay was really affecting the business.
He said the member for Wapenamanda Miki Kaeok gave K25,000 towards the project, while the acting highlands regional manager for forest in Goroka and the Enga forest office visited the site this month and gave 500 seedlings to replace the trees affected.
He said the office of the Ombudsman Commission got to know about the project when representatives visited the Wapenamanda district office in February. 
“This project is a big help to the people of Enga in terms of job employment and it will create revenue for the province,” Pindao said.
He said there could be some people playing politics to stop the project from progressing by influencing the provincial government not to fulfil its commitment.
He said the provincial government should remember that ultimately the project would help the people.
Pindao said whatever the provincial government gave would be utilised to maintain and extend the project.
He said the K25,000 given by Kaeok was used to revive the project but it needed greater support to completely restore it.