Manam Island chief doubts govt will help

11:30 am on 28 December 2018

A chief from Papua New Guinea's Manam Island says he doubts anything will come of the latest call for the island's population to be permanently resettled.

Manam Island volcano

Manam Island volcano Photo: WikiCommons

The chair of the government's Manam Restoration Authority, Ken Fairweather, told the Post Courier yesterday two recent eruptions had made the island uninhabitable.

About 5000 people remain on Manam the majority of them children.

About 9000 people were evacuated from the island after a major eruption in 2004 and are still living in temporary accomodation on the mainland.

The chief, Paul Maburau, said he was skeptical Mr Fairweather's words meant anything, as Manam Islanders had been waiting for government help for 15 years.

The PNG government had allocated $US922,000 to help resettle the islanders but "no one seems to know where the money has gone", Mr Maburau said

"It's all talk and no action," he said.

Mr Maburau said people were suffering with families without employment unable to look after their children and send them to school.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs