Government commits to resettling  victims of Enga Landslip, thanks bilateral partners for support

Thursday 6 June 2024

The  Government is fully committed to relocating people directly affected by the Mulitaka landslip in Enga province,  away from the disaster site.

Prime Minister James Marape said the National Government has  previously committed K20 million to assist  with the recovery efforts, and  further committed to working  with the Enga Provincial Government on an evacuation plan to move the 7849 affected people out of the disaster zone to a temporary location while permanent resettlement is being worked out for the victims.

“The State will acquire land away from the disaster site, within the vicinity of the area and we will properly settle people away from the unstable area.

“This effort  will take possibly the balance of this year as we work at accounting for the lives lost,” Mr Marape said.

Mr Marape said efforts at immediately putting up a death toll was slow because excavation could not be allowed in to retrieve bodies.

He warned that the disaster zone area is still unstable, according to geo-technical assessments jointly carried out by the New Zealand and Australian defence forces through the PNG disaster office.

This is also compounded by the fact that the area, within some proximity of the Porgera Gold Mine, is a “rural trading spot” with people moving in and out buying and selling their wares and conducting small-scale business.

This has hindered attempts to retrieve bodies under the rubble  and the reopening of the road in and out of the area.

“We do not want to send in excavations that will cause further landslips.”

Mr Marape acknowledged and thanked relief agencies and partner nations for  their immediate support and aid response.

“I want to thank all our global bilateral partner nations, who have thrown in their support by sending in well wishes, relief aid, and pledges for assistance toward reconstruction.

“This level of support is unprecedented,” he said.

The latest situation report states six bodies have been retrieved with a very high number of casualties expected and over 150 structures destroyed.

This includes an elementary school, small businesses, guesthouse, and gas station.

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