Questions were again raised in Parliament on the slurry spillage in Basamuk, Madang Province.
Usino-Bundi MP Jimmy Uguro asked the Environment and Conservation Minister Wera Mori to give an update on a second investigation and make clear to the people of Madang if it is safe to go out to sea.
“Can the Minister give an update on the second investigation team sent to Madang? Has the team been sent to Madang already? Is it safe for the people of Madang and the surrounding communities to go out to sea and eat fish?” Mr Uguro asked.
Responding Minister Mori said the 2nd investigation team from CEPA has left for Madang and will be working close with a world-renowned Australian Scientific Investigation team.
“We have asked CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) from Australia to basically supervise and ensure that the correct protocols are in place when the results are obtained,” Mori said.
Mori added the sea was safe to use explaining the initial report from CEPA proved the slurry spillage has been diluted to levels that are not harmful to the environment.
“Samples collected were sent down to Australia and when they analysed it showed the impact readings were low. So what it basically means is that it was below what could have been an environmental concern,” the Minister said.
However Madang Governor Peter Yama fired back at some of the Minister’s claims saying the Department must come clear on which report is true and when he will be presented that report.
Mr Yama also asked if it is true the reports of dead fish found in the Basamuk area were the cause of RD Tuna which usually dispose their unused fish back into the sea.
“When will you come to this parliament or give me a report as per the agreement. You and your MD failed to deliver in my office when I asked you that question. You have no report to give me,” Governor Yama said.
However the Minister responded saying that investigations are yet to prove whether the dead fish found along the Madang bay area was directly linked to the Basamuk Spillage.
“We need to know what are the heavy metals or elements (in the fish) so we will be able to link that to the samples taken by CEPA at Basamuk. I have waited for that report, and so far nothing has come to me yet,” Minister Mori said.
By Stanley Ove jnr, EMTV News, Port Moresby