I EXPRESS Kido villagers plight regarding the proposed limestone project.
Our village is located in Hiri district, Central, with a population of around 1900 and located 25km out off Port Moresby and 12km from PNG LNG site.
It takes roughly three hours to walk around the whole island.
The rest of the island is surrounded by mangroves, swamps, rivers, beaches, sand, coral reef, sea grass and open sea on the other sides.
Kido, Gorohu and Manumanu villages, and Galley Reach inlet, are rich in wildlife and hold one of the major mangrove forestry areas in Central.
The mangrove forest, swamps, rivers, beaches, sand, coral reefs, sea grass and open sea are breeding grounds for barramundi, prawns, mud crabs, and different species of fish and shellfish – which sustains our livelihood.
Kido village and surrounding areas are constantly faced with the effects of climate change, dry weather, high tides and strong winds.
The strong winds that come from the south-west and north-east bring gale force winds and rough seas that batter our shorelines, beaches and flood the areas in the village and our food gardens.
The dry weather affects our water supply and gardens.
The heavy rains and high tides contribute to the destruction and flooding of our gardens.
We live, feel, touch, and see our shorelines, reefs, beaches, rivers and sand being washed away and eroded.
Our garden areas becoming smaller, forcing us to move inland to find more land for food gardening.
The proposed limestone project by Mayur Resources consists of mining of the land, mountain and sand around the entire Kido village.
This is the same foreign company that is proposing to build the coal power plant in Lae.
The developer is not only intending to pollute our air, but intent on destroying our pristine environment and our ecosystem in Central.
The proposed quarry is less than 3km from the village.
If dynamite is to be used to blast the mountain rocks, the dangers and hazards from the limestone quarry cannot be underestimated and overlooked.
The blasting, dust, smoke, smell, noise, vibration from the heavy equipment trucks and machinery, spills and wastage from diesel and oil will have immediate and detrimental effect on land surface, underground water streams and the community’s health and safety.
Where will the solid waste and rubbish be dumped or stored?
Our wildlife, our mangroves, coral reefs, beaches, rivers, sea grass, our fish and crabs will be destroyed.
We will be faced with total environmental disaster, ecosystem catastrophe and destruction of our livelihood.
Our food gardens will trampled to make way for their drilling activity.
The effect of drilling and dynamite blasting will destroy underground streams and pollute our water supplies the community used for drinking, washing and cooking.
Our cemetery will be desecrated by the new road plans that runs through the village for sand mining.
Our population is increasing.
When the foundation of our small island is removed by limestone operations, where will our future generations go and settle?
Does Mayur Resources expect us to live in the mangrove swamps or the open seas like crabs and the fish?
At a recent meeting held in the village, a heated argument ensued between community people and the Mayur representative and their hired policeman, armed with a high powered rifle.
The policeman said, and I quote: “We will bring police armed force and shoot anyone who opposes the limestone operations.”
Joe Guragu from the community told the policeman to come and shoot him in the village.
He told him that while he was still alive, there would be no limestone project taking place at Kido village.
We are appealing to our PNG government, its agencies, concerned citizens, overseas countries and overseas investors to save Kido village and our pristine environment from total destruction by this foreign company.
Deka A Smith