Chief Esra Kwako signed on behalf of the people Babuaf while Governor Ginson Saonu represented the Provincial Government.
The MOU includes a clause for the parties not to agree for the developer to construct and build the necessary infrastructure for a deep sea tailing placement as currently proposed, to insist on finding a safer alternative, like a terrestrial tailings dam.
Chief Esra Kwako’s wants the proceeds from the mine to improve the lives of the people of Morobe, the city of Lae and the rest of the country. He’s convinced Wafi has enough life span to see to it.
They say it will be 28 years but that won’t be. The company told me clearly that the mine will last for more than 150 to 250 years or more. There’s more resources in this area, but I won’t say too much about that. Wafi we hear about it in the news but there are others besides that. What I want to happen is for my Morobe government to stand with me.”
Kwako said there are many good leaders of Morobe but they don’t do enough to improve lives of the people of Morobe and the Lae city. He is happy with Governor Saonu for putting the interest of people before other priorities.
He urged for the Morobe provincial government to stand with the people and negotiate with the mine developers to service the people fairly.
Governor Saonu said that it is important for the developers and the government to take time to prepare groundwork properly before mine operations. Therefore there must be ample consultation and agreement with real evidence before starting and not rush on Wafi for economic reasons.
Saonu said he wants to make sure that his people must benefit from the mine. Therefore they must be well prepared before the actual work begins on the mines.
He added that PNG can survive without economy, but the future of generations hereafter will be destroyed if the decisions are rushed.
Governor Saonu urged for people to use Wafi mine for the next generation, and that it must not be used as a campaign tool for the next election.
He said he wants to create a system where everybody can find their position and to participate and benefit from the resources and not just be by-standers.