Miner gives 30 new houses to landowners

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday, May 10, 2011

MARIA Kikimbe, a mother of six from the Gavu sub-clan of Pagazi, in Kurumbukari, is a happy woman.
She now owns a permanent home at the Enekuai relocation site in the Kurumbukari mine region, Madang.
Kikimbe and her family were among local landowner families at the mine site that took ownership of 30 new homes on March 8 at the Enekuai relocation site.
An emotional Kikimbe said she previously lived in a bush material house and was over the moon at having being relocated and now owning a brand new permanent house.
“I am very happy. Words cannot express the feelings of gratefulness at owning a permanent home for my immediate family,” she said.
An excited Mama Maria, as she is known, heaped praise on Ramu NiCo for presenting her with the new house.
She said she was grateful for the company’s help in training her how to handle domestic items as well as buying other effects like curtains, floor mat and accessories for the upkeep of the house.
Ramu NiCo chief technical director Dr James Wang gave house keys to representatives from the Walium LLG so the families could move in.
The hand-over was witnessed by Madang Governor and member for Raicoast James Gau and his provincial executives, including his deputy, Bob Wati, Walium LLG district administrator Jimmy Sekum, district officials and representatives from the MRA and MRDC.
Congratulating the 30 families who own the new houses, Gau appealed to all impacted landowners of Ramu NiCo project to support the project.
“This mine is our hope. That is why I supported it from before I became the governor,” he said.
“NGOs made a lot of noise but I told them to provide a better option because we are poor and isolated. We need the project. This is our only hope.”
Gau said Ramu NiCo and the upcoming Marengo mine could change the landscape of the isolated Usino-Bundi and Raicoast electorates and urged the people to think positively and welcome positive developments.