Simon Keslep | Post Courier | October 15, 2019
The Basamuk slurry spillage was again raised in Parliament last week Friday by three Members of Parliament.
Tewai-Siassi MP Dr Kobie Bomareo asked if marine life is affected and the wider effects alleged to have reached as far afield as Bogia and even parts of his district in Morobe province who share the sea border with Rai Coast (Madang).
“There are reports that marine life is affected in the sea and I have heard that this is spreading to Bogia too.
“Can the Minister (Environment and Climate Change) inform us in this House (Parliament) and the people of Madang and Morobe on the latest approach his ministry is doing to address this matter?” asked Dr Bomareo.
Minister for Environment and Climate Change Geoffrey Kama in his response said whatever marine destruction that happened in Dr Bomareo’s district is outside of Basamuk. The minister said the spillage at Basamuk which included the raw material from Kurumbukari caused by tank blockage that overflowed about 200,000 litres of raw material.
“Sixty per cent of the spillage went into the tank and 40 per cent flowed into the sea.
“The colour of the sea is something new to the people which they have not seen in their life. At that time we sent out officers to collect samples and send it down to Brisbane, Australia for testing,” said the Minister.
Mr. Kama said it took 15 days for the results to come back and now they have asked a local expert to check and interpret the results.
“We will get the interpretation and inform the people.
“I want to make it clear to this parliament, the people of Basamuk and wider Madang that test shows there is no major destruction occurring but rather change of sea colour. Next week in Parliament, I will read out the result to everyone,” said Mr Kama.
“There are evidences of fish, dogs and animals dying. The minister must explain well on this,” queries Wewak MP Kevin Isufu.
Minister reverts saying it is important to establish facts given there are investors in Madang and everyone (MPs) must abide by law.
“However Ijivitari MP Richard Masere said the minister has the responsibility to the people and if we are unsure then it shows a lot of gaps that we are unaware of. “There needs to be a formal statement on this issue.
If there is already threats to our people then what actions will the minister take to ensure we put a stop or temporary suspension on the mine.
“Until a formal investigation is taking place and we understand fully the implications of these spill will cause… These spill will have detrimental effects into the future, our children may be born with defects’,” said Mr Masere.