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Oil spill threatens livelihood in PNG

Staff Reporter | 1:53 PM | |
VILLAGERS at Pari in Port Moresby are appealing to authorities to contain and clear an oil spill quickly because it may impact their lives and food source, local newspaper the National reports
Villager elder Richard Kewana told The National that they still remembered the effect of an earlier oil spill on their fishing ground and water source.
Puma Energy country manager Jim Collings told The National last week that the spill from a subsea hose at the Kanudi terminal had been contained.
Kewana said village fishermen who returned on Wednesday morning had warned the villagers about the spill.
“When we look out to sea, the spill had already reached our village,” he said.
Fisherman Kenneth Andrew, a diver, told The National that they noticed the spill when they were out fishing at night.
“We saw that the water had started to become murky which made it hard for us to see the fish or where we were going. So we did not catch anything,” he said.
Andrew said when they came out, they were covered in thick black oil which looked like tar.
“You see oil floating on the sea surface when its high tide. When it is low tide, the oil is stuck on the stilts and the shore,” he said.
Kewana said specialists who went to the village to assess the spill told them that they might not fish for a month or two.
“Our people depend entirely on the sea for food and daily income and if that happens, imagine how the people will suffer,” he said.
“We are also engaged in a project of growing new coral in our area and we are afraid this might affect the project too.” The National