| Nov 28, 2016
SEPIK RIVER A NO GO ZONE- ZERO TOLERANCE ON MINING
The Sepiks Free the Rivers & Our Lives Core Group
The Sepik’s Free The River and Our Lives Core Group representing the people of East Sepik have released a press statement to object to the grant /extension of term of Lease of Mining Purposes 94 and 98. The particulars of LMP 94 are tailings, Nena valley waste rock dump, waste rock barge loading facility and LMP 98; Sepik River Port, Dredge Spoil emplacement and River port accommodation village. A total of nine elders representing the upper, middle and lower Sepik River basin communities convened together to put their thoughts and signatures on the objection notice (Form 14).
As a result of mining activity by Frieda Mine upstream severe damages on the natural eco system are evident downstream.
One of the outspoken local elders from middle Sepik said that there is substantive evidence that Frieda mine has already caused serious damages to the environment and has affected the river system. Sediment build up along the riverbanks has caused one of our lakes to burst. According to my local knowledge, lakes act as a natural wall in controlling tides generated by the river currents. “Our livelihood depends heavily alone on the river!” The Sepik River is our MOTHER it provides us with everything, food, water, materials for building houses and it gives us fish that helps us with a consistent source of income. We sell fish from the river to get money to pay school fees for our children; we buy building materials for our houses and boats and vehicles for transportation.
In cultural wise we have a very strong and close connection to the river because most of our names originated from the different species of animals and plants that make up the river environment. Also to enhance this cultural link for generations we have been grateful to reserve and protect sacred sites, which serves as a resemblance of our indigenous heritage.
Sustainability is nothing new to us. The beautiful lakes creates eco-tourism for us and the abundance supply of fish provides a consistent source of income, and a natural seasonal crop rotation dictated by the high and low tides which is more manageable than sophisticated agricultural methods. Frieda mine will not bring any tangible benefits to thousands of people living along the Sepik River and in the same way it will cause disorders in the socio-cultural context of our people and for that we are convinced that it will not be able to define sustainability for our people’s livelihood.
Therefore, this action of objection endorsed that there must be a TOTAL BAN on all mining activities within and in the surrounding areas of Frieda and Sepik rivers. The Sepik’s Free the Rivers and Our Lives Core group (SFTRAOL) on behalf of all the people living along the Sepik river has made it clear in this objection that this areas are a NO GO ZONE-ZERO TOLERANCE on all Mining Activities
An elder from the Sepik’s Free the Rivers and Our Lives Core Group (SFTRAOL) presented the objection notice (Form 14) to the Registrar of Tenements PNG’s Mineral Resources Authority.
Check out the latest updates for the campaign on our Facebook Pages; Bismarck Ramu Group and Sepik Wara- Ban Frieda Mine.
BRG is very thankful for the continous support and the great impact you have had in our work as our wonderful heartfelt supporter and generous donor. Again thank you so much for your great support throughout the year!
Bismarck Ramu Group will be taking part in Globalgiving's Giving Tuesday on November 29. This is an exiting opportunity for us to raise funds for our campaign! If you want to support the people of SEPIK in their cause to preserve their indigenous heritage and reclaim ownership of the MIGHTY SEPIK RIVER? Donate to Land is Life Project Now"Attachments: