By Jeffrey Elapa
WEST New Britain MP Sasindran Muthuvel says the situation in the province after the volcanic eruption warrants a State of Emergency (SoE) to be declared.
Muthuvel said the situation was bad and unnecessary for the provincial government to write letters asking for assistance from the national government as it required immediate relief assistance and an automatic SoE declaraction.
He said the provincial disaster committee met and declared a provincial emergency following last week’s volcanic eruption.
The minister thanked Kandrian-Gloucester MP Joseph Lelang for his query in Parliament about the Mt Ulawun volcano disaster issues while he was cut off and remained in Kimbe addressing issues.
“I thank all the Members of Parliament on both sides of the House for their support and concerns.
“I want to acknowledge both the Prime Minister James Marape and the Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch called to check the status of disaster and that shows our leaders are concerned,” Muthuvel said.
“We have prepared a PEC submission for the prime minister to put through to cabinet and WNB has contributed through oil palm and logging industries to national purse and it’s time we reciprocate the same and help coordinating relief efforts.
“The magnitude of this damage warrants State of Emergency declared so we can get support from them.
“We will use all provincial resources to address the situation but we may not able to sustain it if the disaster continues, the dust is on and off, depending on wind direction,” Muthuvel said.
“Many people are still scattered and without access to clean water and food.
“ I appeal to all corporate companies in WNB, this is not the time for you to ask the provincial government to write to you an official request letter.
“ It’s common knowledge, we need help to address this disastrous situation in the province and I would appeal to all to support in mitigating the suffering of our people who had been contributing to industries.
“The provincial disaster committee convened and declared provincial emergency, we need both financial and technical support from the national government.”
Muthuvel said 10,675 people were displaced at last count on Sunday and people were starving without proper food.
“We waited for Kimbe food to arrive and it was taking time so we decided to get about 350 bales of rice, 60 cartons of canned fish, water and biscuits; probably this is the first food they are receiving from the Government.”
By Jeffrey Elapa