Tag Archives: Geoffrey Kama

CEPA Says Madang Waters Are ‘Safe’ – but warns against eating fish!

Elias Nanau | Post Courier | October 18, 2019

The Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) has assured that the waters around the Basamuk area in Madang are safe and free of toxic contamination.

CEPA officials gave the assurance yesterday following tests and conclusion of water samples tested at the Australian Laboratory Services in Brisbane.

Michael Wau, director for Environment Regulatory operations, took the media through the findings yesterday. He said water samples were obtained from the villages of Naglau, Duman, Domestic Wharf and Drains 1 and 4 outlets.

Their average concentrations were below baseline concentrations and met environment permit conditions, Mr Wau said. He said out of the 200,000-litre slurry spill, 100,000 was contained within the refinery while 80,000 spilled into the Basamuk Bay. The slurry spill was said to have been caused by pump failure.

“Results of samples did not indicate major interference with sea water composition apart from turbidity caused by outfall material after heavy rains,” he said.

Environment and Conservation Minister Geoffrey Kama who joined the presentation endorsed the statements by his officers. “I think everything is back to normal,” he said.

“It’s not about the color, we want to detect the metals,” has said whilst cautioning the local people not to consume any fish caught in the area until further test were done to make the findings conclusive.

“We are not here to support the company, we are not here to tell lies,” Mr Kama said.
 He said CEPA would engage two independent scientists to sample toxic contamination from fish and this exercise would be completed within four weeks.

While the Madang Provincial Government-sponsored Swiss scientist Dr Alex Mojon and his report appear to contradict CEPA’s report, they told the media they were not able to critique or criticize the report without the benefit of reading it.

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Minister Delivers CEPA Report On Ramu Slurry Spill

A spill into the bay earlier this year turned the sea red. Photo: Facebook/ Elisha Wesley Mizeu

Miriam Zarriga | Post Courier |  October 18, 2019

Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) investigations have confirmed that 200,000 litres of raw slurry had actually over flowed from one of the company’s surge tanks within the Basamuk plant site.

Minister for Environment Geoffery Kama said this when presenting his ministerial statement on the Basamuk plant slurry spill incident.

“Sixty per cent was captured within the bund and emergency ponds, and drainage within the plant site, 40 per cent escaped via the drainage into the sea of the Basamku Bay, 80,000 litres of raw slurry that caused the discoloration of the sea water that continued for two days,” Mr Kama said.

“The discoloration cleared up and the sea water in the Bay was visibly clear on the third day.

“The results from the samples show that no major interference or impacts on the seawater composition at the bay and nearby marine areas.”

Mr Kama declared the area safe for swimming and recreational purposes.

However, precautionary measures must be taken, he said.

“The Basamuk Bay people must refrain from catching and eating fish from the Basamuk Bay now and for the next four and six weeks as CEPA is yet to establish if there is any residues of heavy metals contamination through food chain in the fish around the bay.”

Speaking on the independent study endorsed by the Madang provincial government, Mr Kama said that CEPA as the regulator has not been formally informed of such an independent study by the Madang provincial government.

“I want to see the provincial government and the national government working together and not working in isolation.”

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MPs Query Basamuk Spillage

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.

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PNG Govt says, no damages to Marine Life despite slurry spill by Ramu Nickel Mine

 PNG Mining News | 11 October 2019

Papua New Guinea government has denied poisioning [sic] of marine life in Madang’s Basamuk area despite slurry spill by Ramu Nickel Mine. PNG’s Minister for Environment and Conservation Geoffrey Kama has finally revealed that the government investigation into the slurry spill by the Ramu Nickel Mine has found there was no major damage to the sea and surrounding environment.

Mr Kama told Parliament this morning, the CEPA report consists of samples sent to Brisbane Australia for testing.

After two weeks the results were sent back and further verified.

The environment Minister says their report, approved by NEC, now reveals there is no major pollution caused by the spill, and that the color change in sea water should not be a concern, it’s just a color change.

Obviously this did not go down well with several Members of Parliament who stood with point of orders demanding the Minister to explain why the CEPA report reveals no damage when there are evidence of fish dying in surrounding communities.

Member for South Fly,Seki Agisa, questioned on a recent finding released just this week by international scientists engaged by the Madang Provincial Government who found evidences of toxic contamination in samples of water, soil and plants.

The South Fly MP, asked if the government can cross check with this independent report.

But the Environment Minister refused to give clarity standing firm on the report produced by CEPA that there are no major damage caused by the slurry spill last month.

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Rai Coast MP Calls for closure of PNG’s Ramu Nickel Mine

NBC News / PNG Facts | August 28, 2019

Member for Rai-Coast in Madang Province Peter Sapia is calling for the immediate closure of the Ramu Nickel Mine’s Basamuk refinery.

Mr. Sapia’s calls follow several images which went viral on social media Facebook, showing the sea’s color turning a different shade of red, brown and orange.

He says this is clearly a breach of the company’s environmental permit and therefore they shouldn’t be allowed to operate there anymore.

Mr. Sapia who directed his question to Minister for Environment of Conservation Geoffrey Kama today in Parliament says as local MP, he wants the Government to go back to the table and negotiate the future of the mine.

“Mr. Speaker according to the Ramu Nickel environment plan, the tailings waste will be processed properly before being discharged into the sea and that there will be zero leakage or spillage.

“I have already engaged an independent mining expert to be on site to conduct a quick inspection which I will present next week.

“Mr. Speaker environmental plans are presented to the Conservation Environment and Protection Authority before any environmental permit is granted to any mine to operate.

“Ramu Nickel has now breached the environmental permit and therefore cannot operate anymore – profit must not be prioritized at the expense of the environment,” Mr. Sapia said.

Meantime Environment and Conservation Minister Geoffrey Kama in response, says he has engaged specialists working in the Department of Mining and they are in the area currently assessing the situation.

Mr. Kama says the suspected spill occurred on Saturday 24th August.

“Em spill tasol, long graun na wara mix I kam em spill na igo insait.”

“Nau ol lain i wok long em I stap.

“They will give me back the report and I am scheduled to go there next Monday.

Mi go long hap na taim mipla i lukim situation em i bagarap, yes bai umi pasim displa main.

“Tasol bai umi lukim ripot na bai umi toktok, mi hamamas olsem man I gat pawa long pasim – Chief Mine Inspector em I stap pinis long hap wantaim olgeta staff blong mi.

“So I kam bek na I go olsem wanem, bai mi kambek na toksave gen,” Kama i tok.

In November 2018, the landowners petitioned the National Government to ‘stop the K5 billion project extension-‘ it is unclear what has become of that petition.

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