Mine Contamination, people suffer, Immediate action MANDATORY.
Dear Honorable Prime Minister,
Recently, there has been widespread outrage at the revelations by Dr Sylvester Kotapu of high levels of contamination found in blood samples of people living in the vicinity of Tolokuma Mine. Two separate studies conducted by Oxfam Australia, and Mr Wafi had revealed the same. Their studies had been reported to the relevant authorities, yet to date nothing had been done.
These studies, if not widely accepted as categorical and decisive studies, serves as compulsive warning and alert to warrant an independent government backed source to link investigation.
To the best of our knowledge, the honourable Minister for Environment and Conservation has not reacted to call for a detailed independent environmental study, but rather, has kept suspiciously silent on the unfolding human tragedy. Furthermore, the honourable Minister had yet to come clear with the Oxfam Australia reports for 2004 and 2005 of the same.
For those reasons we, concerned professionals in our various capacities, have instigated a petition to express our strongest disappointments on the deliberate abuse of mining privileges owing to greed, corruption and negligence. We believe that companies must be held answerable to the people without fear or favor.
It has been thus far inexcusable and scandalous that the conscious and deliberate pretense of the issue in 2004 has prolonged this torment inflicted on innocent mothers, children and fathers within the vicinity of the mine.
Therefore, in the interest and the well-being of our content and beautiful People, our uniquely exquisite and pristine environment, We, the Children and Friends of PNG,
appeal to the Prime Minster to do the following:
- Instruct the Department of Environment and Conservation, Department of Mining, Department of Health, University of Technology (National Analysis Laboratory), and University of Papua New Guinea, as a matter of utmost priority, by verifying the findings of previous studies and assure the public of the governments commitment to people as first and foremost.
- We implore you Sir Prime Minster, to convene a meeting as a matter of priority, in an integrated approach among the various government agencies, not as an inquiry, but as public servants in line of their duty, to develop a standard technical and strategic monitoring and response protocols for contamination and health issue arising due to mining, farming, factories, etc., to hold companies accountable for damages. We feel it is overdue, as issues of Ok Tedi, Tuna Canaries, Ramu Nickel and now Tolukuma have generated a feeling of uneasiness and apprehension toward future mining related activities in PNG.
- Appropriate Emergency Health and disaster response dispatched where needed.
- Assess the discharge of tailings from the Mine.
- Analyze river sediments for heavy metals.
- Assess and analyze ground water and water from wells in the Mekeo villages of Inauauni, Amo Amo, Veifa fa, Gnagaifua, Oriropetana and Aipeana for arsenic and other heavy metals.
- Review and update the Public Health (Drinking water) Regulation 1984 to reflect current WHO standards for arsenic and lead.
Finally, considering that the mining and quarry sector is predicted to grow by a massive 9%, couple this with the Nation’s reliance on mining and petroleum as the major
earners for PNG treasury, the likelihood for future environment contamination and related health consequences is very real and genuine. We wish and hope sincerely that Our Prime Minster remains impartial to this cause, as we are also fully aware that the government is a shareholder with the Mine.
We, sign below as the petitioners, remaining true to PNG
and its People always,