Powi calls for Dr Hamblin to provide disaster fund report


SOUTHERN Highlands Governor William Powi has told Parliament that National Disaster and Emergency Controller Dr Bill Hamblin needs to provide a detailed report on the disaster funds received and expended so far.
Powi said he had no knowledge of the funds or the programmes initiated with the funds donated by international and local donors.
Powi said a lot of lives, properties and infrastructures were lost or damaged in Southern Highlands, Hela, Enga, Western and Gulf by the earthquake in February last year.
He said after the disaster, the National Executive Council declared a State of Emergency and Parliament passed a legislation for the creation of a restoration authority — Wesh Authority — to manage and rebuild infrastructures destroyed.
“Can the minister confirm if such an authority does exist and who the chairman is, the board and the managing authority? Secondly. I want to know where the authority is located,” Powi said.
He said in terms of funding infrastructures NEC made a commitment of K450 million and wanted to know the status of the money if it had been factored into the budget and if it had been accessed to fund any rehabilitation and reconstruction of vital infrastructures affected.
Powi said more funding had been received by the organisation lead by Hamblin since the disaster.
He wanted to know how much money was received and how it had been spent.
“There were funds from donors and partners given to Hamblin. It is important for us and for the donors to know how much was given and by which organisation, how much of these funds have been expended and on what projects,” he said.
While Minister for Inter-Government Relations Kevin Isifu would present a statement, Finance Minister James Marape said about US$50 million (K163m) was in a trust account to be disbursed for infrastructure, health and education rehabilitation programme in the five provinces affected by the 7.5 magnitude earthquake on Fen 26.