Papua New Guinea
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Update lifts hope of women landowners

THE Wafi-Golpu stakeholders update forum held in Lae last Friday has brought high hopes to mothers of Babuaf, Yanga and Hengambu.

Three mothers representing the Small Mining Lease landowners Diane Peter from Yanga, Linda Ipang from Babuaf and Hengambu Women’s Association president Karen Willie were all filled with joy after the Mining Minister’s address.

Mrs Peter said they have been waiting for years to see the mine open and that update from the Mining Minister Sir Ano Pala and Prime Minister James Marape was a relief.

“I am thankful of this meeting, PM and minister addressing us, some years ago we have been waiting for the project to come in place.

Many of us have died and yet we are still struggling with education and health and no road access. We are now happy that the mine will go into operation,” she said.

Babuaf women’s representative Linda Ipang said they were surprise to hear the minister declaring the consultative forum open for the first time in years.

“It is a new birth. We are now relieved to hear this. We’ve been waiting for years to see development and services.

“We come from remote areas where the government never attend to us at times. But we are happy to see all the services that the mine will bring.

We thank God for this,” she said.

Hengambu Women’s Association President Karen Willie also stressed that she is very happy to bring the news back to her colleagues in the village.

“It’s the moment we have been waiting for,” she said.

The Wafi-Golpu consultation forum is open for landowners to raise their concerns and queries to the government and state.

However, that didn’t happen because of time limitation.

The meeting was rescheduled to a later date.

The women have also requested to know the share of the royalty that the women associations are entitled to.