Tag Archives: HIV/Aids

Mining Activities In Bulolo Raises Social Issues

Hidden Valley mine has already led to increased HIV infection rates and more illegal settlement

Jerry Sefe | Post Courier | June 21, 2018

There is an increase in HIV/AIDS and illegal settlements in Bulolo as a result of mining activities.

Bulolo district administrator Tae Gwambelek said this last week Friday at the Team Morobe Wafi-Gopu Mine project development forum held at the Sir Ignatius Kilage indoor complex conference hall.

The forum was held between the Morobe provincial administration, Wafi-Golpu landowners and impacted district representatives to discuss various agendas of project development services for the province and the signing of memorandum of agreement for equal participation.

Mr Gwambelek said with Bulolo becoming the main transit hub for mine workers of Hidden Valley, the town has seen a sudden increase in social issues.

“These mining activities are most likely the main attracting factors that are contributing to the influx of people into Bulolo,” Mr Gwambelek said.

He said as far as health was concerned, the term prostitution or women willingly offer themselves for sex in exchange of money was a major social problem. While that was continuing, illegal settlements were also popping up unexpectedly in town, he added.

Mr Gwambelek told the forum that there was a need for such issues to be addressed in the mine forum to ensure effectiveness of the advantages of mining in the area.

“Wafi-Golpu is a world class mine that will definitely attract investors and other developers to take part in the mine including people from everywhere, therefore it is a must these issues are strategically addressed,” he said.

Bulolo hospital has confirmed the reports of increase in HIV/AIDS victims and said the hospital will be releasing the full statistics for HIV/AIDS.

Forum chairman and deputy provincial administrator economical services Masan Moat when responding to Mr Gwambelek took note of the discussion and said the agenda would be discussed in the next forum.

Mr Moat said the purpose of the forum was to discuss and identify such issues so that they are properly tabled for positive services throughout the process.

He said one of the objectives of the forum was to address social issues to secure social stability for Wafi-Golpu project through information sharing and consultations.

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Filed under Mine construction, Papua New Guinea

Large-scale mining not PNG culture driving the spread of HIV/Aids

A recent mining boom has financially advantaged local and travelling men, who are driving an increase of sexual concurrency, transactional sex and inflation of bride price payments.

A recent mining boom has financially advantaged local and travelling men, who are driving an increase of sexual concurrency, transactional sex and inflation of bride price payments.

‘Good culture, bad culture’: polygyny, cultural change and structural drivers of HIV in Papua New Guinea

Patti Shih, Heather Worth, Joanne Travaglia & Angela Kelly-Hanku | 16 February 2017

Culture is often problematised as a key structural driver of HIV transmission in Papua New Guinea. Official HIV programmes, as well as church teachings, tend to focus on customary marital practices of polygyny and bride price payments as ‘harmful traditions’. This focus can oversimplify the effects of current and historical nuances of cultural, political and economic change on sexual concurrency and gender inequality.

Community-based healthcare workers in Southern Highlands Province explain that customary marital practices are now highly reconfigured from their traditional forms. A recent mining boom has financially advantaged local and travelling men, who are driving an increase of sexual concurrency, transactional sex and inflation of bride price payments.

Healthcare workers suggest that the erosion of important social relationships and kinship obligations by the expanding cash economy has caused an intensification of individual male power while enhancing the vulnerability of women. Yet without the means to challenge the effects of uneven economic development, healthcare workers are left to target ‘culture’ as the central influence on individual behaviours.

A commitment to address structural inequality by political leadership and in HIV prevention programmes and a careful contextualisation of cultural change is needed.

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Filed under Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Female camp employees used as sex workers at Ramu mine

The remote Ramu nickel mine site

The remote Ramu nickel mine site

Women employed at the remote Ramu nickel mine site to provide basic services such as laundering, cooking and cleaning for the mine staff are also being used as sex workers.

This has been an on going issue for some time. Many of the women claim they are forced to do it because the money they receive from the mine owners MCC is not enough to cover even their basic needs, so they have to provide sex to the workers to gain extra cash to sustain them and their household.

The women are mostly casual staff, 33 in total are employed at the mine at any one time. Most of the women are married, but they have to leave their husbands and children back in the village while working at the mine. They are working as sex workers for the permanent male employees.

The female workers claim the mine management does not have any control over these issues and even outside women are smuggled into the mine site and the mine workers lock them away in their rooms to use for sex.

The situation has led to unwanted pregnancies, HIV/AIDS infections and domestic violence problems.

The women have raised their concerns with the management but the world class Chinese miners think that the plight of the women is not an important issue to be discussed and they always turn a blind eye to the matter.


Filed under Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea