20 Feb 2012

Governor of PNG's Morobe Province meets protestors over polluted river concerns

4:37 pm on 20 February 2012

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's Morobe province is today hosting a meeting between scientists and Labu people whose community is upset over the loss of marine life in local riverways.

Labu people last week set up a road block at the Markham bridge near the confluence of the Markham and the Watut rivers where they have been protesting about the build-up of dead fish and eels.

Blaming the Hidden Valley Gold Mine operations for polluting the rivers, the Labu people presented dead fish and a petition to Morobe's GoveRnor demanding an investigation into the issue.

The Governor, Luther Wenge, says it is premature to blame the mine.

"We have to make sure that scientists investigate this thoroughly and we need to get a scientific opinion and find out the cause of this thing. So I've made pleas to their understanding and I think they understand that now. So today's meeting is going ahead and I don't expect any confrontation to occur."

Luther Wenge