I REFER to the attempts continuously made by citizens of this country to raise awareness on issues of national significance and concerns.
The recent campaign by a group of Sepik university students on impact of the Frieda mine on the Sepik River and its catchment, which appeared on page 11 of The National on Dec 28, 2018, prompted me to contribute.
This is a little too late as political will behind the Frieda’s mine’s development has been already effected.
I had been vocal for in past years and provided early warnings, but received no support for the concerns I had been raising in the media. Only one lone citizen in MM Ondassa contributed.
His printed appeal is in a letter recently on page 40 of The National. I had two feasibility proposals which were forwarded to the Angoram district development authority last year for its support.
I have received no support at all to date. One study was for the ‘Baseline Study Database’ of the Sepik River channel and its catchment area.
The other one was on the ‘Quantum Resources Valuations’.
Both of my studies complement each other and are prerequisites for cross-checks.
They can also be used to task the Frieda mine to manage the increase of materials it will discharge and add to the contents of the Sepik River and its whole catchment. So far, there is nothing established which can be relied upon and used to advise the Frieda mine.
This is if it discharges directly into the Sepik River its tailings and other associated wastes it will generate during tenure of its operations and lifespan.
I am grateful for concerned University students who participated in this campaign for the silent majority of the Sepik River citizens.
I hope more elite Sepiks will join in with their practical support and commitments.
I am also sad that the decision has already been made to kick-start the mine’s development.
The Sepik River will surely be degraded and deformed from its genesis. It will follow its sister Fly River to the graveyard.
Just look at its cousin Ramu River, just next door, which is already transiting into its devastated deform beyond its originality.
The Sepik River – one of the last remaining prides of PNG – will lose its stature and no longer exhibits its fame upon this planet.
Alphonse Roy (Environmentalist)
Bible Science Teacher