29 Jul 2003

PNG's Madang Governor promises action on Ramu river sedimentation

10:30 am on 29 July 2003

The governor of Papua New Guinea's Madang province, James Yali, says he's waiting on an engineer's report to assess warnings of an environmental disaster on the Ramu River.

The dramatic build-up of sediment in the river, which has caused it to change its course, has destroyed ecosystems and food gardens and is threatening the livelihood of people in the area.

One government official who has observed the destruction, says the problem has reached a head and they will need to raise the Ramu bridge above the sediment build-up.

The official also they need a helicopter to assess the full extent of the damage in inaccessible parts of the river.

Mr Yali says that they'll act as soon as possible.

"As soon as the report is made available I'll speak to the National Disaster and Emergency office and we can work out ways in which to help the people who live along the affected areas"

Madang governor James Yali