Sewage spillage: Responsibilities remain unclear

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by Tokana Hasavi – EM TV, Port Moresby

Uncollected rubbish and overflowing wastewater from a clogged manhole on the boundary between two government institutions continue to be neglected for over a year.

The Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) and the Medical School of UPNG are yet to decide on the responsible party.

A community leader, Lucas Enn from the affected area known as Haus Sik Compound, says they have been living with the problems for too long and need the matter resolved.

Enn has also been employed at the hospital for over 30 years and is baffled by the lack of response from UPNG and the Hospital.

In an email, Grant Muddle, CEO of POMGen said

“If it is in the grounds of PMGH then it would be PMGH responsibility; if it is in the grounds of UPNG, then it would be theirs.”

But the University’s administration says the hazards lie on Hospital property.

Vele Kila, from UPNG’s Physical Facilities Management, explained that PMGH personnel reside in the area; therefore, it is the Hospital’s responsibility to rectify the health issues.

Kila’s comments were backed by UPNG’s Acting Vice Chancellor, Vincent Malaibe. He says if the University caused the issue, then the onus would be theirs.

Malaibe however encouraged the dialogue between both parties to settle the neglected garbage and putrid wastewater. The cause of the wastewater spillage, according to the University, is one that must be addressed by PMGH as it flows from the Hospital’s staff houses into their sewer system.

The University administration attributed the cause to a rundown ablution system that stands in the staff residential area.

It was established in 1992 but has received no maintenance since.

Muddle, in the same email also said:

“We are trying our best, but things take time to rectify; 23 years of neglect cannot be fixed overnight and cannot be fixed without funding.”

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