Papua New Guinea
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Hewa people along lower Lagaip River want recognition environment permit reviewed

THE Hewa people living in the lower Lagaip River, Hela Province, want the Environmental Permit to the New Porgera gold mine to be reviewed.

The people, through their Lower Lagaip River Development Authority, in a statement signed by the executives, said that the people have been affected by the tailing of the Porgera gold mine for the past 30 years.

Among the concerns raised includes the mine being urged to build its waste tailings dam within the mine area.

This is so that all the waste including the mine waste be dumped into the dam.

The Lagaip River Development Authority executives, Isaiah Alia, Owen Epas, Win Elo and Richard Pelake also want the state and the Developer of the mine to compensate the people of segment 1-8.

They have been affected under the old Porgera mine.

They said the Lagaip River Zone 2 landowners in the Hewa region of the province affected by the Porgera gold mine tailings deposit want their voice to be heard since they continue to be overlooked.

Mr Alia said the people are now calling for Environmental Permit to be reviewed.

The villages situated within segment 2 are; Usai, Wisky, Arini, Wanikipa, Tirini Irani, Waki, Ambi, Galaka and Yokona in the Kopiago LLG and Sismin in the Telefomin district in West Sepik.

Mr Alia further said the Lagaip River is used for washing, drinking, cooking and fishing.

“Since the Porgera gold mine commenced and the waste is being dumped into the river system… everything has changed,” said Mr Alia.

“The lives of the 15 000 people from the sevenwards living within the Lagaip River zone 2 riverine areas must be compensated for as well,” added Mr Alia.

Mr Alia further called upon MRA and the state to recognise the Lagaip River Zone 2 Development Authority to represent the people at the Development Forum.