Villagers conclude deal with miner

National, Normal

THE New Year looks promising for affected communities along the Watut River in Lae, Morobe province.
This follows a new public and private partnership (PPP) between the Morobe provincial government and the country’s newest gold mine – Morobe Mining Joint Venture (MMJV).
Landowners spokesman  Isaac Pologo and MMJV general manager of sustainability and external relations, David Hume, signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) before Christmas last year.
The memorandum focuses on the development of sustainable fish farming activities for the affected Watut communities.
The partnership required the land owner to work in co-operation with MMJV as the donor and two well established community service providers in the province; the Lutheran development services  and the Adventist relief agency to identify villages requiring and committing to fish pond development.
Mr Pologo thanked MMJV for initiating the agreement on behalf of the affected communities and for utilising the PPP approach.
He said it had been a pleasure for the provincial government through the landowners to work with the mining company and other key players in such a public private initiative to develop the lives of the people.
Under the agreement, MMJV would provide a minimum of K50,000 funding in the first year for various approved sustainable fish farming projects including extension and training, village pond development, stocking of natural lakes, hatchery development and fingerling distribution and focusing on projects in the mining affected areas.