Govt decision upsets locals


THE three landowner companies of the Wafi-Golpu gold and copper project area and the pipeline landowners are not happy with the Government’s K34 million distribution to some districts in Morobe recently.
The K34 million is part of the K100 million infrastructure development grant (IDG) that the Government promised for the Wafi-Golpu project during a recent pre-development forum at Zenag in Bulolo.
Presidents of the Hengambu, Babuaf and Yanta landowner associations John Nema, Jack Raban and Victor Gayatulu said they were not happy with the announcement by National Planning and Monitoring Minister Renbo Paita that the funds were not for the landowners’ development objectives.
Paita’s statement indicated that the landowners of the Wafi-Golpu mining project would not get the funds as the project had not started yet.
In the statement, Paita mentioned that the K34 million IDG fund that was paid to the Morobe government and all districts except Kabwum was not for the landowners of the Wafi project.
Hengambu landowner association president John Nema said it was a slap on the face and were disappointed with Paita’s statement.
“The funds comes as infrastructure development grants from Wafi-Golpu project which means part of that should be directed at us as we will be severely affected when the project is fully developed,” Nema said.
He said infrastructure developments in the mine affecting communities was not progressing well and services that the developer established over the years, such as roads, health posts and schools, had deteriorated.
Nema said the districts that received part of the K34 million Wafi IDG fund would not be impacted by the project.
“Why using the name Wafi-Golpu IDG funds when actually the money is not ours,” Nema asked.
Meanwhile, Yanta president Victor Gayatulu proposed that since there was still K66 million remaining from the K100 million Wafi-Golpu project IDG, the Government could allocate part of it to the landowner companies.
“This will help us to improve on the infrastructure development in the area and also to get the local landowners prepared for the actual implementation of the project,” he said