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More than 1,000 islanders displaced

By Poreni Umau PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 11, 2011) – In Papua New Guinea, the National Disaster Office has finally responded to the plight of the volcano stricken people of Manam Island by allocating more than 170,000 kina [US$64,000].

[PIR editor’s note: More than 1,000 people on Manam Island were stricken by the eruption last month demanded to be evacuated to Bogia on the mainland where three Care Centers for volcanic displaced islanders are located, but were refused by the Bogia landowners. Manam Island is located in the Bismarck Sea off the northeast coast of mainland Papua New Guinea. Bogia is a district situated on the northwest of Madang Province.]

But Madang Provincial Disaster and Emergency Services Director, Norman Philemon said last week the money would be used for the people on the island and not on those currently at the care centers on mainland Bogia.

Mr. Philemon said the money would be used to buy food rations and would be paid directly to the service providers.

He said the National Disaster Office has stepped in to assist those on the island following the recent volcanic activity on Manam that has affected those who have returned to the island from the care centers.

He praised the National Disaster Office saying that the immediate assistance shown would go a long way in helping the people of Manam, especially the people of Dugulava, who were worst hit by the recent lava flow from the volcano.

He also refuted claims made in this newspaper that the islanders chose to resettle on the mainland.

Mr. Philemon said according to information gathered two weeks ago from a meeting between the disaster officials and people on the island, the people preferred to resettle at Bieng on the island and not back at the care centers on Bogia mainland.

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