#Bougainville #PNG News: Environmental disaster is waiting to happen in Bougainville port

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“The person, group or authority responsible for bringing in these supply and storage vessels must immediately get these vessels out of the old government wharf, out of Kieta and out of Bougainville waters.

There is an imminent risk and danger from all the signs and indications and from information from the security staff and some of the crew on the vessels that one or both vessels are developing leaks. The worst that will happen is for the vessels, especially the fuel supply vessel, Pacific Trainer, already under stress and in a state of disrepair, to sink where it is berthed. Both vessels are aged, rusting away and under stress and duress.”

Simon Pentanu Resident of Pok Pok Island

The environmental contamination and pollution from the leakages is already evident. It will destroy one of the most beautiful harbours in the world. It will affect the Kieta harbour shoreline, the shores and fishing grounds of nearby villages and the spawning grounds for all stock and variety of fish.  The tides can carry any spills and leakages as far south as Koromira and up north towards Arawa, Loloho and Rorovana.

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As well as our pelagic stock fishing grounds, the barrier reefs  that serve the coastal populations as sources of food and income from seafood are most at risk. The mangroves that are spawning habitats for tuna and other fish are at risk too. This is  real. It is frightening.

Both these vessels are unseaworthy. They should have never been allowed into the harbour in the first place. The damage and cost in pollution, contamination and cleaning up will outweigh any benefits to anyone for which these vessels were brought here in the first place.

Appropriate authorities, namely NMSA (National Maritime Safety Authority), the Department of Environment and Conservation and the ABG Emergency Service should cooperate with our national and ABG customs and immigration staff to call in the foreigners involved, inspect the vessels and furnish a Report to ABG, the MHR for North Nasioi and the NNCOE (North Nasioi Council of Elders). These authorities should act immediately. The ABG must take decisive steps and actions on this imminent threat to the environment.

Of immediate and long term risk are residents along the shoreline of Kieta Harbour, the coastal villages and hamlets in Metora VA which includes Pokpok Island and Siipa Bay as well as villages along the coast north, east and south of Kieta.

We cannot talk about tourism sites, natural attractions and potential for the industry when we allow the gravest danger of pollution to one of the most beautiful and touristy areas on Bougainville. If Autonomy means we must take responsibility of our own affairs, responsibility for environment must be at the top of the list. Isn’t this one of the offending issues that attracted the wrath of those that fought tooth and nail during the conflict?

We have more than enough examples that should make us shudder and realise that wherever oil spills have happened elsewhere, human lives and every other living thing and form of marine life whose existence depends on the environment have been the most worse off and most deprived for the experience.

The member for North Nasioi and Minister for Department of Primary Industry must take take a firm, decisive and immediate stand to have these vessels removed. Most of the coastal people whose waters stand to be affected do not have or derive any pecuniary benefits from whatever the deal is that has brought these two vessels to Kieta.

Prevention is better than cure. Act now before it is too late! Respect the laws. We must learn and grow to be a lawful society and community instead of being “every man for himself”.

5 comments on “#Bougainville #PNG News: Environmental disaster is waiting to happen in Bougainville port

  1. Pingback: #Bougainville #PNG News: Environmental disaster is waiting to happen in Bougainville port | NACCHO Aboriginal Health News Alerts

  2. Reblogged this on Emnaupng's Blog and commented:
    “The person, group or authority responsible for bringing in these supply and storage vessels must immediately get these vessels out of the old government wharf, out of Kieta and out of Bougainville waters.

    There is an imminent risk and danger from all the signs and indications and from information from the security staff and some of the crew on the vessels that one or both vessels are developing leaks. The worst that will happen is for the vessels, especially the fuel supply vessel, Pacific Trainer, already under stress and in a state of disrepair, to sink where it is berthed. Both vessels are aged, rusting away and under stress and duress.”

    Simon Pentanu Resident of Pok Pok Island

  3. Apparently the ‘Pacific Trainer’ was repaired in October 2012 at the PNG Dockyard.
    That is less than four (4) years ago. See the story below.

    “The ‘Pacific Trainer’, a fishing vessel owned by the Rimbunan Hijau Group, one of Malaysia’s largest multi-industry companies, came into PNG Dockyard this month for “immediate ship repair and maintenance” due to “months of wear and tear”.
    PNG Dockyard’s ship repair co-ordinator, Michael Konzii, was assigned to coordinate ‘Pacific Trainer’ and ensure all work tasks were completed.

    Mr Konzii said various departments did an “excellent job” and tasks were completed as assigned. According to Mr Konzii, the only difficulty was language barrier as most of the ship’s crew was Taiwanese with little or no understanding of the English language: “We used sign languages, hand gestures and drawings to communicate with our clients,” he said.

    The main completed was mostly steelwork. As a safety requirement, Gas free inspections were done by PNG Dockyard safety officers before any work proceeded. General Service was initially carried out with Hull cleaning and painting, anchors and chain cables were ranged only in the port side, and the shaft cooling line was renewed.

    Other major structural work included cropping and replacing entire wasted structural frames on the starboard side, welding doubler plates on both the port and starboard side shell (from bow to aft), and extending the rudder blade in height.

    Work was also carried out in other minor areas of service and repair. Oily and sewerage water were drained out and newly treated, and oil and fresh water for sewerage were supplied. Electrical faults were identified and properly fixed, and there were also some pipe work done. Scupper pipes and the fire line on portside were also renewed, old anodes were replaced, the ballast tanks were filled with water and the entire vessel was sandblasted and painted after all steel work was completed.

    According to PNG Dockyard, work was “successful despite slight communication barrier between the owners of the ship and our workmen. The ship owners were pleased with the field workers and their friendly approach. They were also happy with the dedicated workmanship.”

    See http://www.bairdmaritime.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=13623:pacific-trainer-sets-out-after-repair-at-png-dockyard&catid=69&Itemid=60

    Is the ‘Pacific Trainer’ fishing vessel still owned by the Rimbunan Hijau Group who are responsible for large scale destructive logging in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and other countries?

    What is the name of the other shipping vessel?

    • Apparently the ‘Pacific Trainer’ was repaired in October 2012 at the PNG Dockyard.
      That is less than four (4) years ago. See the story below.

      “The ‘Pacific Trainer’, a fishing vessel owned by the Rimbunan Hijau Group, one of Malaysia’s largest multi-industry companies, came into PNG Dockyard this month for “immediate ship repair and maintenance” due to “months of wear and tear”.
      PNG Dockyard’s ship repair co-ordinator, Michael Konzii, was assigned to coordinate ‘Pacific Trainer’ and ensure all work tasks were completed.

      Mr Konzii said various departments did an “excellent job” and tasks were completed as assigned. According to Mr Konzii, the only difficulty was language barrier as most of the ship’s crew was Taiwanese with little or no understanding of the English language: “We used sign languages, hand gestures and drawings to communicate with our clients,” he said.

      The main completed was mostly steelwork. As a safety requirement, Gas free inspections were done by PNG Dockyard safety officers before any work proceeded. General Service was initially carried out with Hull cleaning and painting, anchors and chain cables were ranged only in the port side, and the shaft cooling line was renewed.

      Other major structural work included cropping and replacing entire wasted structural frames on the starboard side, welding doubler plates on both the port and starboard side shell (from bow to aft), and extending the rudder blade in height.

      Work was also carried out in other minor areas of service and repair. Oily and sewerage water were drained out and newly treated, and oil and fresh water for sewerage were supplied. Electrical faults were identified and properly fixed, and there were also some pipe work done. Scupper pipes and the fire line on portside were also renewed, old anodes were replaced, the ballast tanks were filled with water and the entire vessel was sandblasted and painted after all steel work was completed.

      According to PNG Dockyard, work was “successful despite slight communication barrier between the owners of the ship and our workmen. The ship owners were pleased with the field workers and their friendly approach. They were also happy with the dedicated workmanship.”

      See http://www.bairdmaritime.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=13623:pacific-trainer-sets-out-after-repair-at-png-dockyard&catid=69&Itemid=60

      Is the ‘Pacific Trainer’ fishing vessel still owned by the Rimbunan Hijau Group who are responsible for large scale destructive logging in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and other countries?

      What is the name of the other shipping vessel?

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