PNG HIGHLANDS VILLAGE GETS RUNNING WATER

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Fist of ten villages slated for catchment service

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, September 3, 2009) – A rural village in the Jimi electorate of Western Highlands Province is the first of 10 villages to have access to fresh water at their door steps through a village water supply program.

The Ngemka tribe of Gulka community is the first to benefit from this village water supply program started by the Member for Jimi Wake Goi for his electorate.

Before the completion of this project, the Gulka people travelled a long way downhill to fetch water from the Mambel River for drinking, cooking and other use.

Now, it is something of the past and the people will no longer have to travel that distance to fetch clean water.

At a total cost of more than K40, 000, [US$15, 000] a reliable and safe village water supply system has been built with a reservoir tank to store water on higher ground and the water flows down through the gravitational process.

Mr. Goi said the Gulka water project, situated in the Middle Jimi area, is the first of up to 10 village water projects he planned to set up, particularly for areas where people travelled long distances or did not have clean fresh water.

"People are very happy because clean water is at their doorsteps and they do not have to travel far to fetch clean water for cooking, drinking and other uses," Mr Goi said.

The Jimi Member said the second water supply project would be for the Omun villagers in the Upper Jimi area and urged all benefiting communities to take good care of the facilities for their own good and well-being.

The village water supply project is funded through the District Improvement Service Program (DISP) and is the first of its kind in the electorate.

Head-Over fishing imposes threats

Bylinge-By eric tapakau

Text-THE $US5 billion (K15 billion) Pacific tuna industry is being threatened by overfishing and also by allowing vessels from overfished regions to look

for tuna in the Pacific region. Of this amount Papua New Guinea receives 20 per cent.

During a press conference it was highlighted that while the threat was not so severe, it would become costly for the Pacific Island countries if certain

species of fish are overfished.

Under threat is the much sought after big eye tuna which has the longest life span of 12 years of all main tuna species.

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) scientific advisor Dr Shelton Harley said all other tuna species were in good shape but big eye was causing problems as stocks were slowly being depleted.

"Overfishing of big eye tuna is currently occurring," Dr Harley said. The WCPFC recommended that fishing mortality be reduced by a minimum of 30 per cent from 2001 – 2004 average levels. PNG Fisheries Minister Ben Semri said due to depleting tuna stocks, the Pacific Island Countries agreed to work with the

Distant Water Fishing Nations partners to widen the scope of management of tuna and other straddling stocks particularly in the respective exclusive economic zones (EEZ) and the high sea pockets resulting with the establishment of the WCPFC. He said it was based on this understanding that the PIC had worked together to manage the tuna fisheries in the WCPFC which by far is the best managed tuna fisheries industry in the world. "Having said this, we do note the

concerns on the status of over or near to over fishing of big eye and yellow fin tuna stocks are cooperating with fisheries scientists, managers and other stakeholders in the region and with the industry players to continue to explore appropriate conservation and management measures to manage this important resources," Mr Semri said.

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