Presenting the Basamuk Red Sea


A lot has been said about the toxic chemical spills into ‘Beautiful Madang’s’ Basamuk Bay seawater, but have you pictured how it might look like from how the people described it? Brace yourselves and look no further than the pictures in this article that have surfaced, taken by the people themselves using their mobile phones, to show you what they are currently treading on and living with.

Red sea basamuk

This is how the sea looked in the last chemical spill in the month of March this year, and the Ramu Nickel Mine’s ‘Community Affairs’ officers bounced into the villages and told the people ‘Everything is ok’, and then left, the same way they arrived. Off course as you know, they’ve not produced any reports to back up their assurances – as usual.

The national government’s Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) workers are as useless in giving hope to the people, maybe far more worse than the Chinese Miners because as the people put it, ‘they are outright dumb’. They’ve been flying in and out of the province but as you may have already guessed, they’ve been residing at top hotels and when they are in Basamuk, they are stationed with the Chinese at the ever smoking processing site.

Now be reminded again that the DEC workers may be working for the government, meaning they’re getting paid with your tax money, but they’re also getting paid by ‘these toxic waste dumping’ Chinese, to ‘falsely’ attend to the problem, so long as they carry the ‘Department of Environment and Conservation’ name tag.

To be specific, one of the DEC representatives announced to a young girl he clearly admired, at Madang’s Krunget market that’s right in front of the Madang Resort last year, that the Chinese owned Ramu Nickel Mine is paying him K2000 a day, just for making his presence known. All he has to do is pretend to dive, then tell the villagers everything’s ok and then leave.  He was still at the resort in Madang, not gone to Port Moresby yet to file a report on his findings when a story ran on the daily newspapers said nothing is wrong, everything’s ok.

So you see, these department of environment SALES workers are being used to scare people that they are ‘the government’ and that the government today will use its power to get the police to beat the people up and arrest them and even take them to court, if they decide to go further in proclaiming their rights to a better sea and environment.

You see, after four chemical spills so far, the toxic sediments have been building up on the sea bed, and is fast spreading to the people’s coastline, according to the latest on the ground reports. As seen in this photograph, this toxic waste is still red-ish in color though it’s been under water for some time now.

Red substance build up
You see this is the sticky substance that gets stuck onto the people’s fishing lines and baits when they are dipped into the sea to catch fish. That being said, the best fish are said to be those that are usually on the seabed, attracted to the surface and caught using baits. Now what do you suggest these fish have been feeding on down there, before the people catch them and in turn consume them.

Their garden foods mysteriously drying up and getting sores all over, the reefs and fish are dying. Meanwhile the chemical spills are still happening and not investigated by anyone, not the government departments, and not even journalists, leaving these people in total isolation.

Tell me that you will touch the sea as red as it is in the photographs or eat fish caught from it. Tell me you will gladly swim and splash around in it. You have not the faintest idea of how these people, the people of Madang Papua New Guinea are coping with these toxic Chinese men-made changes. You may say it the Basamuk’s or the Madang people’s problem but it’s definitely coming your way with a different name and face, as the Chinese Developers.



Filed under Environmental impact, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

13 responses to “Presenting the Basamuk Red Sea

  1. Marc Bowden

    This is appalling! Why isbt the local member of parliament (or opposition equivalent) kicking up a fuss about this? People, protest please! Your future livelihood is in danger from this toxic mess. Protest protest protest! Write letters to politicians and the media!

  2. Fred Hela

    Get Chan and his family to go and live there, including his former PM father. See if they like what is happening with the source food for the locals.

  3. Jimmy Onopia (Mr)

    Papua New Guinea resource owners have allowed the National Government to lure ‘Foreign Investors’ from abroad to enter our customary land and our seabed in the name of “Foreign Investment’. Papua New Guinea are peace loving people who are always willing to cooperate with GoPNG and allow major investments to exploit their ‘God given resources’.

    Papua New Guineans do understand the importance of foreign investments and the significant role it plays in the development of Papua New Guinea.
    The GoPNG and especially the Dept of Environment and Conservation should monitor the conduct and the manner in which those ‘foreign investors’ are carrying out their businesses. Our rivers, sea, our fauna & flora must be protected and preserved for our children. While we welcome foreign investors, foreign investors should not be allowed to destroy our natural inheritance, our flora & fauna, our rivers and marine life in the name of foreign investment.
    I am pleading with those in the Environment and Conservation office to carry out independent analysis of the environment immediately surrounding all such installations and publish your findings whether good or bad, fearlessly as Papua New Guineans.
    We must be united I n our stand to protect what belongs to us today and our children or loose everything to foreigners.

    Jimmy Onopia

  4. I often wonder how Bouganville has been faring ,with all that went down jaba river ,and out to see ??

  5. Sadly the mines are often funded by the taxpayer, too. Here in Australia, it wouldn’t be possible for a lot of mining and resources companies to survive without taxpayer funding, subsidies, and concessions. How do they do this when ordinary people are poorer than ever? Governments are naturally corrupted this way.

  6. “It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove, or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies, and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse Party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive.”

    Geneva Convention, Protocol 1, 1977.

  7. Aihi Areni

    This is very concerning. Local provincial authorities need to take lead together with their local members of parliament.

  8. earleydaysyet

    Reblogged this on Earley Days Yet and commented:
    My beautiful Madang… That was, until the last few years.

  9. Junias Sukui

    Accordering to this as for me a former employer as a first marine engineer employed on a ramu nickel mine ferry travelling too and from madang’,been see that a company does not care about the safety of this people leaving near by, there aim is to get something about our Land and let us stupid and they will return back to their country,, I am Sori we are not stupid but our PNG government make us stupid on our own land

  10. Alois Wafy

    I am a local Marine Biologist, living and working in Madang, though as a private consultant. Yes, I am indeed concerned about the Basamuk situation but the lack of resources had hampered my efforts to independently investigate these issues. There is NO DOUBTING about the pollution, we only need to quantify and scale the LEVEL of pollution and establish the biological pathways these toxic elements/heavy metals reach the humans and try our best to educate and inform locals how best to avoid or reduce the health risks and the long-term impacts of these pollutants in the human system, like cancers and births defects. Of course, the ideal situation would be to litigate this matter.

  11. Kenneth Unamba

    The Department of Environment and Conservation should be jumping by now in response to this. There should be zero discoloration of the waters, if there is color change there is something really wrong, and its not only color change which should alarm us as there are also color less elements which may be dispersed beyond the coloring. This is a blatant disregard of the lively hood of the local populace and something must be done now to stop this happening. If the DOE cannot do anything then the locals have to take a court injunction to stop the processing plant until the company cleans up the mess and dose not discharge directly into the shores.

  12. Tree Frog

    All of this reads like an abstract thought. You are not going to achieve much by playing up to the loony leftists. The Provincial Government needs to wade into this debacle on your behalf. Get to it people. The Chinese should be made to pay for its damage.

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