Locals claim water pollution caused by fuel truck

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday October 22nd, 2013

 A COMMUNITY in Enga claims fuel from an overturned truck has polluted their drinking water sources and damaged food gardens.

The community lives in the Maip-Mulitaka local level government area.

The truck, believed to be owned by Ipili Porgera Investment, was carrying diesel and overturned on Oct 7 at Lumbapes village. 

The diesel flowed into nearby creeks and food gardens, community leader Peter Pokos said.

The vehicle was heading towards Porgera, he said.

The National tried last Friday to contact the IPI offices in Porgera and Lae for comments.

Pokos said people had stopped using water from  creeks or taking food from their gardens.

He said they were waiting for health authorities and officers from the provincial disaster office to assess the damage.

“We will not use water and our gardens until we are guaranteed by the health authorities because we believe it is not safe,” he said.

“Since the truck overturned, the colours of the nearby creeks and food gardens have changed. We look after the truck and allowed the company to take it without demanding any compensation.”

He said they only asked the company to apologise to the villagers because their lives had been affected.

Pokos said they had told the provincial disaster office to send officers to assess the damage.

He said they were waiting for health authorities and the provincial disaster office to tell them if it was safe to eat food from their gardens or use water from the creeks.