Gulf Province

Gulf needs emergency response plan

The Governor acknowledged that the provincial government has limited resources and operates in a difficult environment. He thanked the Project for their recent efforts in assisting waterway communities along the Purari affected by the recent floods.

“We will be flood prone. The province has to accept that and the province knows that. On our coasts, erosion’s happening. There’s about 25 to 30 villages along the front or coastline of which about 10 to 15 are in the Purari delta.

Phase 2 Purari relief mission announced

TotalEnergies PNG Managing Director, Jean-Marc Noiray, announced on Friday November 17th during a ceremony donating three dinghies to the Gulf provincial authorities.  

In September and October of this year, waterway communities along the Purari were severely affected by floods caused by heavy rains of the season. For almost three weeks after the rains, water levels remained above a meter, flooding low-post houses, food gardens, contaminating drinking water sources, and creating an environment for sicknesses such as fever, malaria, and dengue.

Hape highlights Gulf's challenges

On commenting on the recent flood efforts undertaken by the Papua LNG Project launched on November 2, together with Gulf Provincial authorities and the project’s partners, Jerry Hape, Coordinator for the Gulf Disaster Office says the province faces many challenges.

“We don’t respond immediately in time of flood and rain because we cannot go through the river system because there will be logs, and rubbish, debris flowing down the river, so we wait until the flood stops.”

He says, because of these, they depend on ward councillors to send them updates and pictures.

Papua LNG furthers relief effort

In response, Papua LNG Project launched a Disaster Relief Mission on November second to assist villages in its area of influence with 30 tonnes of food rations and medicines.

The mission began at Apiope village at the mouth of the Purari, with Project staff distributing food rations and medical supplies which were specifically handed over to a Community Health Worker based at the aid post/health centre in the village.

New Generators for Kerema and Maprik

Being the provincial capital,  Kerema has suffered from prolonged outages due to its power station breaking down.

PNG Power recognized the need for reliable power supply for local businesses, schools, hospitals, and residents, especially with the pending development of the Papua LNG Project.

The generator has already been installed in Kerema and the PNG Power technical team will commission it in December. This generator will provide power until the start of the construction of a DFAT-supported solar project in 2024.

Futures at risk

Fortunately, for Aumu village they have one teacher who teaches elementary through to grade 2. They also have a volunteer phonics teacher who gives up her personal time to ensure children of the village learn to read and write at a basic level.

The same cannot be said for Aivai’i and Kae-Varia. The village children are said to make long-distance trips by river, to and fro, to the nearest schools in other villages such as Evara.

Many choose to forgo the commute and remain at home, in the village.

Volunteer Phina, teaches phonics

Phina says she holds classes on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Explaining that on Wednesdays, she attends fellowship with the other women of the village where she is the group’s secretary.

A mother of seven children herself, Phina says she knows the importance of education, and the need for children to learn the basics such as reading and writing.

Aivai'i village thankful for relief assistance

The communities when receiving these very necessary relief supplies have expressed their gratitude, thanking the project and those at the heart of this mission.

Richard Steven from Aivai’i village, shares that the water levels had risen after continuous rain in the Highlands region towards the end of October 2023. He says after waters rose and flooded the villages for two weeks, and what was left were gardens buried by thick layers of sediment.

Purari relief mission underway

Operator of Papua LNG, Total Energies has launched a ‘Disaster Relief Mission’ to assist villages in its area of influence with food rations and medicine.

In coordination with the Gulf Provincial Authority, the Project will also be providing relief efforts in the form of medical supplies to communities outside the area of influence.

The mission began on November 2 at Apiope village at the mouth of the Purari with Project staff distributing food rations and handing over medical supplies to a Community Health Worker based at the aid post/health centre in the village.

FODE centre for Gulf

Sir Chris made the presentation at the main FODE centre in Port Moresby yesterday.

He said that the plan to have FODE in the province is to increase literacy levels, and the overall standard of education and infrastructure. 

“I would like very much that FODE becomes an integral part of the learning curriculum in the province. However, accessibility is a challenge for many,” Sir Chris said.

FODE Principal Anthony Rayappan agreed that accessibility to education especially in the remote areas of Gulf is challenging.