by Scott Waide – EM TV News
As people in the Manam and Bogia recover from the shock of Friday’s minor eruption of the Manam volcano, representatives are calling for the Manam Restoration Authority Bill to be passed by parliament.
A Manam delegation travelled to Port Moresby for the parliament session expecting the bill to be passed but returned highly disappointed yesterday.
Falling rocks from Friday’s eruption injured a teenager as he was returning home from school.
Seventeen-year-old Peter Magubia, was running home from school when the volcano erupted just before midday on Friday. As he entered the family home on the island, a rock struck him on the head and he fell unconscious.
He was brought to Bogia late on Friday when the volcanic activity subsided.
Peter is now being cared for at the Bogia health centre, but with limited s and a skeleton staff, staff here are thankful that the eruption didn’t develop into a major disaster like the 1996 and 2004 eruptions.
Adam Dek, a health worker at the centre saw the horrors of the 1994 eruption where a mass burial of 12 people was conducted.
No major disaster this time. But, if a big eruption had happened on Friday, the Bogia health centre would not have been able to handle a disaster of that magnitude like that of 1996.
You can see the years of neglect on this government facility. No power. No running water. No mattresses on the beds. This is part of a district system that is crumbling because of a lack of support. Beyond disaster preparedness, there is an even bigger humanitarian crisis developing.
Some 10,000 Manam islanders living in what used to be care centres have no certainty of a future. The legislation governing their resettlement still has not been passed as parliament continues to drag its feet.