25 Jul 2003

Warnings of impending environmental disaster on river in PNG's Madang province

5:17 pm on 25 July 2003

People living along the Ramu river in Papua New Guinea's Madang province are warning of an environmental disaster along the river system due to a dramatic build-up of sediments.

The warning is contained in a letter from two local men sent to several government ministers and provincial administrators.

Among other things, they say sedimentation has built up to a level where it now threatens to completely remove the Ramu River bridge connecting the rest of Madang to Brahman, Bundi and the proposed Ramu nickel mine.

The river in the meantime has drifted off course into the surrounding area, depositing sand whereever it goes, destroying food gardens and vegetation.

The provincial works manager in Madang, Daniel Muturam, led an engineering team into the area last week to prepare a report for the government.