Then National, Tuesday 11th September, 2012
By DAVID WAPAR
PEOPLE of Pimaga in Nipa-Kutubu electorate, Southern Highlands, are calling on the state, ExxonMobil and Oil Search to remove the Mubi River blockage that has caused problems over the past 10 years.
Spokesman Roy Milape said the blockage built to ferry goods from Mendi to Moro in the early 1990s had repeatedly caused water to overflow and destroy their gardens, crops, poultry and livestock.
He said the company was notified on this between 2000 and 2007 but referred the state to be responsible because of the excessive tax it had paid.
Milape said the village was experiencing a disastrous situation.
He said around 12,000 people needed food as most of their garden supplies had been destroyed by water from the blockage after three weeks of rain.
“Unlike Southern Highlanders, we rely on sago, fish and vegetables and this disaster has affected our livelihood,” Milape said.
He said the government, through the Environment and Conservation Department, engaged eight consultants who carried out studies of the area but their reports were not that convincing.
“So we engaged the National Research Institute in 2002 and it reported that the bridge was the cause of the problems and declared it a man-made disaster,” he said.