Home > Corruption, Human rights, Papua New Guinea > K10 million wait for Tumbi victims

K10 million wait for Tumbi victims

February 22, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

By Leslie Omaro

THE K10 million promised by the national government for the Tumbi landslide disaster in Southern Highlands province last month is yet to be released.

The landslide, which occurred at the Tumbi quarry of the LNG project near Hides on Jan 24, killed more than 60 people. So far, 40 bodies have been recovered.

National Disaster Centre (NDC) acting director Martin Mosa yesterday confirmed that his office had yet to receive money allocated for the landslide victims plus relief assistance for those affected.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, who flew to the disaster area a day after the landslide struck, said his government would be helping relief efforts with K10 million and that the funds would be immediately released into the care of Esso Highlands and the National Disaster and Emergency Services.

“No, the K10 million has not been released to date; we are still waiting for the money,” Mosa said.

In an email, ExxonMobil public and government affairs upstream media adviser Charlie Engelmann confirmed they had not received the money yet.

“None of the K10 million was ever intended for Esso Highlands to use, steward or care for.”

“We have not received any of it, and will not and I appreciate your checking on this,” he said yesterday.

“Our hearts and support go out to the people who have been affected by this tragedy.”

Mosa said according to Transport and Works Minister Francis Awesa, the money was initially drawn and set aside for the maintenance of the national highways but was diverted to help in the relief efforts of the landslide disaster.

Mosa said, hopefully, the money would be released on Friday so that financial support could be made quickly to
the affected people.

“We are still waiting for the breakdown of the K10 million and that will come from cabinet.”

Mosa said K3 million would go to the affected communities, with some of the money going towards setting up a memorial park with headstones engraved with names of those who died.

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  1. Karsie
    February 24, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    I am interested in Exxon Mobil’s contribution in this as part of it’s social responsibility. As far as I am concerned, ExxonMobil should be doing more and working with the PNG govt and relevant state institutions to work in partnership in all fairness to assist the locals. Companies have to make sure that their social responsibility policies are clearly articulated and the govt must ensure that they are not only implemented but be seen to be implemented in times of such crisis. The right to cancel their licences to operate in the country should they fail their social responsibilities must be included and clearly promulgated in our laws.

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