The Manan Relief Operations in the volcano devastated Madang Province, literally kicked off on Friday (July 19), thanks to the timely assistance provided by PNG Ports Corporation Limited.
Relief supplies bound for the disaster stricken area where over 30,000 people are at care centres were stuck at the Madang Port, while PNG Defence Force personal who moved into the province to assist locals carry out the relief operations waited for much needed funds to be released by the Government.
On Friday PNG Ports Acting Managing Director, Fego Kiniafa gave instructions to his staff in Madang Port to use every available resources to off load the supplies stuck on a PNGDF boat that berthed at the Madang Port.
“We are moving the stuff out of the boat now. It’s all going good, thank you PNG Ports,” head of PNGDF team assisting the relief operations, Major Joshua Dorpar confirmed later that Friday evening.
Mr Kiniafa heard about the plight of the PNGDF when Major Dorpar sought help from PNG Ports to remove the supplies from the vessel. He was in Madang with the Chairman of the PNG Ports board, Sir Nathaniel Poya to deliver the company’s donation towards the cost of the relief operations for the victims of the recent volcanic eruption.
“We are still waiting for the funds that were committed by the government to reach our account. The previous government promised us K3 million and the current government promised us K5 million. Those funds have not be released so our relief and restoration work has not started,” Governor Peter Yama told the PNG Ports team.
“I whole heartedly thank PNG Ports for this donation which is literally kick starting our relief and restoration exercise for the Manam victims. Our PNGDF team is already on the ground, our local staff are ready so we will start rolling out the program into the care centres and affected villages.
Undertaking an exercise of this magnitude cost huge sums of money, however we have to do what we can because our people are badly affected,” Mr Yama said.
The Governor further directed his Provincial Administrator Mr Joseph Kunda Bonomane to ensure that an acquittal report is produced for PNG Ports after the funds have been expended.
Speaking on behalf of PNG Ports, Sir Nathaniel reiterated that the company was state owned, meaning that the people of PNG owned the business.
“We are only custodian. As a state owned entity, we pay dividends but further to that, we also provide assistance to our people when they are in need.
“We provided K100, 000 to the West New Britain Disaster Committee to help in the relief and restoration program. Their Governor James Maneke picked up the cheque from us last week. We are here in Madang to present another cheque of the same value to you, Governor, to receive on behalf of your people,” Sir Nathaniel informed Governor Yama.
Mr Kiniafa assured Mr Yama and Mr Bonomane that PNG Ports will continue to assist the relief and restoration program through its Madang port with regards to movement of personal and supplies for the care centres and the victims.