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May 10, 2021

Namatanai: Marine GPS Monitoring System Program Launched

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The Namatanai district in the New Ireland Province has begun a 4 year roll out of the light marine craft GPS monitoring system program.

The project roll out began in January this year, at a total cost of K3.6 million.


The program aims to preserve the lives of the people on light marine crafts at sea, by setting up safety measures on marine light crafts. This program is also the first ever launched for a maritime province in the country.


With a back log of missing persons every year in the waters surrounding the district, Namatanai MP and Minister for Mining Byron Chan, raised serious concerns to the Joint District Budget Priority Committee.


Mr. Chan, also the chair of the JDB & PC, approved a sum of K3.6 million, from the 2014 District Service Improvement Program, to roll out the GPS monitoring system installation. The technology will:

  • Monitor and counter sea piracy situations;
  • Monitor fuel levels on all light crafts while out at sea;
  • Monitor mechanical durability of the engine;
  • Monitor distress calls or situations at sea; and
  • Pinpoint accuracy of locations of boats on real time on a day and night basis.
Within a span of 4 years, all light marine crafts in Namatanai will have this system. A locally based IT company, Panassoa Ltd, has been engaged to roll out the project. They will make the installations and provide training for personnel who will be assigned to monitor and respond to any emergencies out at sea within the district.


This is the first for a maritime province in the country.


The JDB & PC has also launched a five-year rural lighting program. More than 2700 solar kits were distributed to the rural populace.


Mr. Chan visited the Konoagil, Namatanai, and new Matalai LLGs.  These LLGs comprise of more than 45 wards. Here, he distributed 30 solar kits to families per wards.


Mr. Chan said within 5 years, all houses in the villages will have solar light lanterns. The contractor, Welcome Enterprises Limited, will be paid K890, 000 per year, to roll out this project.


He stressed that this program is aimed at enhancing the livelihood of family homes and switch from the culture of having kerosene, and petrol, to light lamps and generators at homes.


He further said the program is sufficient enough to compliment the people, sustaining cash income due to copra and cocoa price going low. The member will visit outer islands in the electorate that consists of Tanir and Nimamar LLGs, to launch and distribute the solar kits.

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