AS the Morobe Fishermen’s Co-operative Society (MFCS) chairman, I applaud the decision taken by Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu to not rush into signing the mining MoU for the billion-kina Wafi-Golpu mine project.
I am more concerned about the tailings and toxin dumping into the ocean.
That has potential to impact the lives of individuals and communities who survive on both subsistence and commercial fishing.
The National Government and the operators of the mining project must tell the governor and people of Morobe how they will sort out many outstanding issues challenges before they sign MoU and commence mine operations.
Tailings and toxins discharged into the water and ocean systems will permanently destroy the ecosystem that supports the lives of other organisms and livelihood of thousands of Morobeans and people of PNG who live in Lae.
Lae has five canneries that support employment of over 3000 employee and their dependents.
We have over 20 fishing groups and associations in MFCS from Morobe LLGC to Tewae-Siassi, who can be affected if the proposed plan to discharge tailings into Huon Gulf waters proceeds.
The coastal villages, the three Labu villages, Salamaua and Morobe LLGC villages, Yanga, Wagang, Bukawa all the way to Finschhafen and Tewae-Siassi coastal villages.
I believe there are far too many risks and unresolved issues associated with this project.
It and should not be allowed to proceed on the basis of the recently signed MoU.
There needs to be more round table discussions with all
stakeholders. Morobe has the largest population with 645,000 people.
The mining impact could be a disaster to half of its population.
MFCS will lead the protest on behalf of the fishing groups, the coastal people and PNG people currently working in the five fish canaries.