Minister: Bipartisan planning for disaster vital

PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea Finance Minister James Marape says the country needs a bipartisan planning for natural disaster as the recent earthquake in Hela and Southern Highlands has been a lesson learnt to prepare for the worse.

He said bipartisan approach should be a collective approach from both sides of the house to pre vigilant and prepare to mitigate effects of natural disasters.

Mr Marape said one way in further natural disaster preparedness was to establish a special endowment fund, a specific quarantined trust that could grow over time but a fund that would specifically be used in terms and during disasters in the country.

He said such creation of special endowment funds should be funded with certain percentage from revenues from the extractive industries in the country such as the mining and petroleum developments.

He said the country needed to plan ahead as there would be more disasters in the future.

Mr Marape said the country must be sensitive to withstand nature and natural disasters when constructing infrastructure in the country.

He said countries such as Japan had structures that could withstand natural disasters such as earthquakes and PNG should now look similar structural designs infrastructures.

Mr Marape said similarly, the only Japanese constructed building in Tari was the only structure that withstood the earthquake, and that was something they needed to learn and make sure the infrastructures in the country should be built to withstand all climates and natural disasters.

He said the earthquake was lessons learnt and a wake-up call for advance planning and for the Government to reach out to the people who had never seen government officials and leaders visiting them.

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