More aid for Manam victims of volcanic eruption

A volcano eruption on Manam Is last year. Picture: RADIO NZ

PORT MORESBY,11 SEPTEMBER 2018 (THE NATIONAL) – The fourth shipment of relief supplies for the Manam volcano victims three weeks ago will be loaded today for the island, says acting Madang administrator John Bivi.

He said since the eruption three weeks ago, the provincial government was fully committed to supplying food rations to the affected population.

Papindo PNG Group of Companies chipped in yesterday with its donation of rice, flour and oil to assist the provincial government.

Bivi said Manam Island’s volcanic activity was on stage three alert and being a local from Bogia, he knew Manam well – that it would quieten a bit and then spring another surprise blast.

He said that was why the provincial government would continue to deliver food supplies to the affected people on the island until all activities had settled and the islanders picked up on their lives.

Bivi said the provincial government was still waiting for the national government’s commitment of K3 million, which Prime Minster Peter O’Neill promised at Zogari village on Manam Island during his visit there last weekend.

Madang Governor Peter Yama said his government was committed to assist the affected Manam people and would not let them down, so the food supplies would continue.

Iabu local level government president Kenny Boli said ashfall on the island had covered several villages.

Meanwhile,the National Disaster State of Emergency led by Dr Bill Hamblin has ended, and an authority will be established to carry out restoration work and make recommendations in affected areas.

Emergency Controller Dr Hamblin said in an interview earlier that its period ended at the end of last month and the Government would establish a restoration authority for rebuilding.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said he would table a report and present a statement in Parliament this week for the creation and establishment of a Western, Enga, Southern Highlands and Hela Restoration Authority.

Dr Hamblin said that as emergency controller, he was responsible for overseeing relief supplies and restoration of services in the affected provinces as stipulated in the Emergency (General Powers) Act of 2018, which related to the delivery of relief to the suffering and minimisation of damage after February’s earthquake.

As such, he said, his primary function was to provide food, shelter, medical attention and safe drinking water for affected communities.

In addition, and by extension, the emergency controller assisted in community recovery by laying the groundwork for future restoration activities in terms of the rebuilding of economic and social infrastructural services in the affected areas in Western, Enga, Southern Highlands, and Hela.