Government Pledges K10 Million for Rabaul Before 30th Eruption Anniversary, as its restoration commitment

Monday 11 March 2024

Prime Minister James Marape, Provincial Member for East New Britain, Mr Michael Marum (next to PM),  Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources, Jelta Wong (left), Member for Pomio, Elias Kapavore  (second from right) and Member for Kokopo, Ereman ToBaining Junior (right) in ENB yesterday Sunday 10 March 2024. (picture credit: PM’s Media).

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has pledged government’s  unwavering support  of K10 million to the people of Rabaul and the wider East New Britain region, as the province prepares to commemorate   the 30th volcanic eruption  anniversary.

The pledge comes ahead of the 30th anniversary of the devastating volcanic eruptions on September 19, 1994, which obliterated the town once celebrated as the ‘Pearl of the Pacific’.

In his  visit to Rabaul recently,  Prime Minister Marape made a commitment of K10 million to the East New Britain Provincial Government.

This funding, the first instalment of a proper Gazelle Restoration Programme, is aimed at addressing and resolving the longstanding issues stemming from the eruptions that reshaped the region’s landscape and its inhabitants’ lives.

Prime Minister Marape expressed a firm resolve to conclude all outstanding matters related to the 1994 eruptions.

“This encompasses efforts to support those who were relocated, as well as individuals desiring to return to their original homes in Rabaul,” he said.

The Prime Minister’s vision extends beyond mere rehabilitation, envisioning the rejuvenation of Rabaul’s historic and aesthetic essence, particularly its port, in time for this poignant anniversary.

 “We want to reopen the beautiful and historic town of Rabaul and its port, especially on this 30th anniversary of the volcanic eruptions which destroyed this unique part of Papua New Guinea,” he affirmed.

Rabaul’s potential as a hub for tourism, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, and a testament to a rich and vibrant history, remains untapped, a fact Prime Minister Marape is keen to change.

“The K10 million funding pledge to the East New Britain Provincial Government is the first step towards revitalising Rabaul, aiming to restore its lost splendor and reposition it as a key player in the region’s economic and cultural development,” he said.

“With this commitment, the government signals a new chapter for Rabaul, emphasising recovery, development, and the preservation of its unique heritage.”

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