Prime Minister Hon. James Marape Commends Chimbu’s Disaster Recovery Efforts

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has expressed his appreciation and satisfaction with the progress of disaster recovery work in Chimbu Province.

During a meeting on Tuesday, April 16, 2024,  with Chimbu Governor Hon. Noah Kool, Provincial Administrator and Disaster Chairman John Punde, and community representatives, the Prime Minister commended the resilience and dedication shown in clearing damaged roads and infrastructure to restore essential traffic flows.

Prime Minister Marape emphasised the importance of efficient use of the K63 million allocated by the National Government for disaster-related efforts in the worst-affected districts including Gumine, Kundiawa-Gembogl, Karamui-Salt Nomane, and parts of Chuave and Sinasina- Yongomugl.

Gumine and Gembogl remain cut off with over 100,000 people affected and these funds will be used to reopen roads to these areas.

The Chimbu Provincial Government confirmed the receipt of K29 million for disaster efforts and expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Marape and the government for their support.

“The National Government urges the people of Chimbu and those living near the roads and bridges affected by the natural disaster not to demand compensation from the national and provincial governments, the contractors, or the Disaster Office,” said Prime Minister Marape.

“It’s a natural disaster, not a man-made one. Think of the other people living beyond your areas who need the roads to access basic services. Let the roads be cleared and schools be opened.”

The Prime Minister also raised concerns about resources potentially not being utilised effectively and called on the Provincial Disaster Office to ensure full accountability for every toea spent on restoration efforts.

Mr. Punde reported to Prime Minister Marape and the Minister Responsible for Natural Disasters, Dr. Billy Joseph, that 90 percent of roads in nearly all districts affected by landslips and flooding have been cleared. Vehicle passage has resumed, and remaining work is expected to be completed later this week.

Restoration of damaged bridges and roads will commence immediately following debris clearance.

Tragically, the bodies of 11 people who were buried alive have not been recovered.

Prime Minister Marape extended his gratitude to the people of Chimbu, Governor Kool, and leaders from the affected districts. He encouraged continued efforts to make money and resources available for assisting the populace and restoring normal services.

He also announced plans to revisit Chimbu to monitor the progress of restoration work.