28 Nov 2014

Legacy of environmental ruin remains for South Fly

9:44 am on 28 November 2014

Landowners in the South Fly region of Papua New Guinea's Western province are unsatisfied with the compensation given for environmental devastation caused by the Ok Tedi mine.

It's the latest call for a more comprehensive compensation package from the operators of the mine and the PNG state for extensive and long-lasting damage to major river systems, including the Ok Tedi and Fly, from the discharge of mine tailings over decades.

A landowner representative from South Fly, Pastor Steven Bagari says that since taking over the mine last year, the government has been unresponsive to the call.

He says local people are paid up to 32 US dollars per person annually in compensation.

"To us in South Fly and people of Western Province that are affected by the mine, this is not money, it has no value... to the damage it has done to our environment, our livelihood, our culture, our heritage and our identity as the people from Western Province and mine-affected villages."

Pastor Steven Bagari