BAIMURU district in Gulf is made up of nine tribal groups naturally bounded by seven big rivers which are connected to the Purari River.
In fact Purari River has seven mouths – Aivei 1 and 2, Panaroa, Urika, Arae’e, Varoi and Pie.
Well before the Papua LNG came into play, people were already living along the corridor of the river Purari – living freely of the land, river and sea for food and shelter, gardening, hunting and fishing.
The river system provides channel for transportation and movement.
These will soon be affected when the project begins.
I appeal to the government and the developer, Total, to involve landowners in any matters concerning the Papua LNG project development process. Our leaders, especially Kikori MP and Governor, should take a leading role in addressing most of these issues by educating the people on the status of the project and the impact and benefits that will follow.
Right now we are in the dark and wondering where and how we will participate as traditional tribal groups from this district.
The Baimuru people want to see the project go ahead without any delay because it will bring tangible development to the people.
However, we would like the parties involved to consider:
- Wide range of consultation and awareness programmes throughout whole district;
- request 100% involvement of landowners in any project participation in the process in partnership with Government and Developer;
- all spinoff benefits to be prioritised to the project areas and nearby neighbouring districts and provinces for fair and equal participating;
- project should not be bulldozed unless and until all outstanding land issues are solved properly; and,
- Be reminded that land, river and sea are the only natural assets that people will turn to, for the basic daily needs after the project and should be taken seriously.
Koriki Tribe, Pom