9 Mar 2005

Evacuated children from PNG's Manam Island back in school

4:41 pm on 9 March 2005

Hundreds of primary school age children evacuated from Manam Island in Papua New Guinea are now back in school.

The children are among the more than nine thousand people taken from the island after a succession of volcanic eruptions destroyed crops, buildings and water supplies.

They are still living in temporary care shelters while the government tries to find land where they can be permanently relocated.

The local MP and PNG's Inter Government Minister, Sir Peter Barter, has visited a care centre at Mangem.

"They have built six bush material classrooms that are a good facility. The teachers are there, beginning to teach. The Malala High School has been very good in providing blackboards. The Melanesian Foundation has given a number of desks and more desks are going up today. That care centre, yes, the children have returned to school. The other care centres I have not been up to but I understand it is a similar situation that children are now beginning to go back to school."

Sir Peter Barter