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Basamuk Bay: CEPA says no effects from spillage

Papua New Guinea’s Environment Minister, Geoffrey Kama, has told Parliament that from water samples collected from the Basamuk Bay, shows that heavy metal contamination are within acceptable levels. Mr. Kama was responding to questions raised about the impact of the recent chemical spillage at the Chinese owned Ramu Nickel  refinery at Basamuk Bay.

“Mr Speaker the results from the samples analysed indicates no major interference or impacts on the seawater composition at Basamuk Bay and nearby marine areas.”

“Furthermore, Mr Speaker, the results from the study commissioned by CEPA show that the heavy metal recorded are near baseline conditions of the marine waters. And they are within the terms and conditions specified under the environment Permit.”

His statement was followed by strong   protests  from members of parliament including Madang Governor Peter Yama, who had commissioned a separate  investigation that said that pollution at Basamuk was evident quite serious.

Governor Yama has also  accused CEPA of  collecting samples far from  where the spill happened.

While Northern Governor, Gary Juffa,  called on the Government to put the people before investors.

Most member of parliament were not satisfied with the minster statement as it did not show the findings of the investigation report.  The Minister’s  office and CEPA today made a presentation to provide the numbers found in the investigation report.

The department’s sampling analysed  sea water from four  different areas along Basamuk bay. They said the heavy metal presence  was  within acceptable limits.

The Environment Minister has also hit back at Governor Yama’s conflicting investigation saying the findings were  not submitted to CEPA adding that a  third investigation on tissue culture on fish and marine life will either show if it was safe to eat fish caught in Madang waters.

For  now CEPA has advised for people along Basamuk Bay to not consume any marine life until the Third investigation is done in the next five  weeks.

Adelaide Sirox Kari – EMTV News, Port Moresby

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