Enough is enough: PNG does not need mining: Stop the Frieda mine

ENOUGH LESSON AFTER LESSON – PNG IS NOT A CLASSROOM

nasigatoka

Moses Koliwan

I have just finished reading the Sinivit Cyanide Spillage and the SOE declared by ENBPG. I note that Minister for Mining has also directed an independent MRDC investigation.

The number and volume of mining related accidents and the severe impacts of mining in PNG cannot be underplayed any longer.

We need not look far at at lasting and severity of the effects and impacts of mining in PNG to acknowledge the realisties. Look at Panguna, Ok Tedi, Lihir, RamuNico and now Sinivit.

When must we say enough is enough and ask ourselves one simple question and that is “Can PNG do without mining?”.

And for argument sake “Singapore never needed a Panguna, a Ok Tedi, a Porgera, a Lihir, a Sinivit nor the proposed Freida River MIne?

Haven’t we learnt enough yet from the Panguna experience and from the now the irreversible damage by Ok Tedi Mine on one of PNG’s two most prevalent and prominent river ecosystems and what impact this is now having on the people who live there? And, mind you this is no ‘fly by night’ impact. Only God knows how long this will last but certainly not in decades, centuries maybe.

We just should no longer lay back and become passive individuals and communities of savvy people and who are ignorant and complacent and allow continued mining experiments which destroy environments, livelihoods and upset natural balance and well being.

More importantly, our future generations have as much right and prerogative to enjoy this world in its pristine form and state like our ancestors did and we do to now. We can’t sit back and relax and say let the status quo be and let us keep learning from the bad mistakes we continue to make from mining activities. We cannot!

The many bad lessons learnt from mining activities in PNG are largely due to arrogance and bad tasting intent and vision in the name of development. The time for that has gone. PNG is educated and informed enough to protect its people and its environment for sustainable livelihood and harmony between nature and people – something we have done for centuries.

We cannot to remain ignorant and silent as individuals, communities, regions and a nation anymore. What is money compared to human well-being now and in the future? How will the change to made to the environment by mining support a sustainable future for me, my children and the generations to follow?

Shouldn’t we be investing heavily in green economy (agriculture)? At least the potential return is still high and the overall impact and risk to environment and people are manageable at local level as I see.

The recently announced Freida Copper Project does not and will not have a reference in my genius book of world records for best environmental safety and mining practices in the world. The company that has been granted the license to operate the mine only 9 years experience in Cambodia or some country of that sort.

Freida River is a open pit mine same as Ok Tedi. In fact is across the ranges from Freida. Its situated on the Freida River which feeds into the Sepik River. The same as the tributaries linked to Ok Tedi Mine which fed into the main Fly River. If the effects of Ok Tedi is something to go by, I feel so sorry for the wonderful people of the mighty Sepik River.

The impacts of the Ok Tedi Mine are also felt in the adjacent Gulf Province. Will Madang Province feel the environmental impacts of Freida Copper and Gold Mining Project? YES!!!!!!!!!!!

The environment and lives of my Sepik River people and those of adjacent Madang Province is too high on the agenda, to say the very least.

I am committed 100% to ensure that the Ok Tedi experience is not repeated in the Sepik to reduce is to a bowl of poison for the people and all the plants and animals and living creatures that call the Sepik River home.

The fight begins now and we will resist Freida Copper Project until the last coin is squeezed out of the jelly bag.

All responsible PNG leaders and elites will only see why this is so important, and why it is crucial to act out and voice this concern now on behalf of the present and the future generations of this very beautiful part of PNG – the Sepik.

I am now pleading for public support for the ‘Stop Freida’ campaign. The preparations for this are well underway and its launch will be in Angoram Station around mid June, 2015.

If you wish to support this course by way of comments, advice and discussions’ email me on moseskoliwan@gmail.com or call me on +67571580576.

I need support for environmental groups and other pressure groups, including scientists and social scientists, NGOs, individuals and people with interest on environmental protection and protection of vulnerable indigenous populations and groups.

The Sepik River people, their culture and their environment is at stake. Come stand with me with one voice and one action on Freida and stop it.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Environmental impact, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

One response to “Enough is enough: PNG does not need mining: Stop the Frieda mine

  1. Ken Unamba

    I believe the pictures painted here are all disaster, gloom and doom. Yes, the issue we see started with Bougainville, then Ok Tedi, Porgera, Lihir, Tolukuma, Hidden Valley, Ramu and now we expect to see same stories to come from Freida, Wafi Golpu and other new projects for that matter. I strongly believe the Government and the statutory authorities involved in mining have to take the full blame for all that have been done to the environment and the people. Seems like nobody in Waigani where brown envelopes are passed under the tables in air conditioned offices while signatures are gathered, have ever learned and cares about the plight of the local communities in the impact areas. The offices of the Department of Environment and Conservation and the Mineral Resources Authority should take more responsibility and be the guardians of impact area where stringent I mean STRINGENT ! control mechanisms should be in place to control the mining operations which includes but not limited to having ZERO TOLERANCE to:
    1. Solid waste discharge into any natural drainage which includes any dirt from any construction including access roads, mining, pitting, trenching etc. ie; There has to be a solid waste dump and waste and sediment traps to capture all unnatural dirt which is being generated.
    2. No liquid/fluid discharge into the natural drainage, which includes any waste water from sluicing/milling and grinding from mineral processing which is not limited to tailings or acid drainage. ie. all fluid waste have to be stored in a tailings facility and must never be released to the environment.
    These are the two most pressing issues I can think of which have never been policed by our responsible departments and I believe unless there are changes here, we can see some very real change. I have been working in mines else where in the world where waste discharge of any sort drives the mining operation and believe that we can live with a Mine as long as the shit is properly treated as shit and not thrown on our peoples back yard or their faces.

    Thanks.
    KK Unamba

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