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.