The National, Thursday 09th Febuary 2012
By SINCLAIRE SOLOMON
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has allocated a mere K8 million for Papua New Guinea’s biggest maritime disaster – out of more than K40 million his government has committed in the past two week for natural disasters.
O’Neill yesterday announced in Lae the K8 million for last Thursday’s mv Rabaul Queen ferry disaster relief, and research and rescue operations for more than 100 people who may have perished.
The amount ranked third in the total allocated since May 1.
It pales into insignificance compared with K12 million allocated on Feb 1 for the Wau-Bulolo flood disaster
relief in Morobe in which no lives were lost.
An extra K12 million was allocated in the province to fix the Wau-Bulolo highway.
The second biggest relief allocation – K10 million – also announced on Feb 1 was for the Tumbi landslide in Southern Highlands, the prime minister’s home province.
The mv Rabaul Queen is third on the list of funds allocated, according to official figures announced by various government ministers including O’Neill, Wau-Bulolo MP Sam Basil and Imbonggu MP Francis Awesa and compiled yesterday by The National.
Another significant recipient of disaster relief funds was Central province with K5 million for the repair of the Angabanga bridge on Hiritano Highway.
Disaster-prone Northern province was promised K4 million for relief to flood victims in the north-west districts.