The Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Soroi Eoe says the Government will continue to support local Small to Medium Enterprise (SMEs) to remain in business, create employment and generate revenue for the economy.
Minister Eoe said this on Friday (01/1021) when presenting a cheque of K55 000 to a local SME Kaoha Ltd involved in providing water purification and filtration services for his Kikori District in the Gulf province.
He said the pandemic is here to stay and encouraged his people and local SMEs ∂to adhere to the Niupla Pasin COVID19 protocols and actively engage in their little businesses.
“The National Government strongly encourages our local SMEs and those engaged in any form of income generating activity to continue what you are doing, but at the same time follow the Niupla Pasin and get vaccinated for the health and safety of yourself and families.
‘Funding to the tune of K200million has been released to the two commercial banks, BSP and National Development Bank-NDB to help struggling SMEs which were affected by the pandemic. That is part of the overall government’s financial policy intervention towards local businesses.
“I am very thankful to Kaoha Ltd a local Papua New Guinean family owned SME that has come up with the technique and resource to filter dirty water and purify it for drinking and cooking in our Kikori District.
“We are engaging their services because our people really need clean and safe drinking and to stop them from drinking contaminated ground water’’, said the Acting Prime Minister and Kikori MP.
The Acting Prime Minister said his Kikori District is a riverine district and the people’s water wells and creeks are contaminated by flooding.
“Our people are drinking water from the rivers, water wells and other sources from the ground and most times they become sick from water borne diseases like malaria as the creeks are infested with mosquito larva.
“This water filtration buckets can and will certainly go a long way in helping our people drink water filtered and free of bacteria’’, he said.
Minister Eoe says the waterways and creeks in the Kikori area is often dirty and contaminated by the many rivers that are flooded during heavy rains.
“The flood waters go up the villages along the river banks and cover the entire area, destroy and contaminate our water wells and when our people drink those dirty water they get sick and are hospitalized.
“The Kikori District Development Authority-KDDA in partnership with the Ihu Special Economic Zone-ISEZ has purchased water tanks to collect rainwater and supply to villages but this water purification and filtration technology using simple buckets will complement and help our people a lot in providing clean water.
“We are also lucky to have water tanks for our clans in the Kikori District but sometimes communally owned water tanks are subject to abuse and we all know that so we are also looking at the water filtration buckets that you are providing.
“So this particular water purification and filtration unit which your Kaoha is providing is more suited to families and households in our District as it is really practical and beneficial to our purposes’’, said Minister Eoe.
The Acting Prime Minister on behalf of the Kikori District Development Authority-KDDA thanked the Ihu Special Economic Zone-ISEZ for supporting the water filtration program.
“These are some of the projects that we are involved in terms of safety measures that will have a direct impact on the lives of people in his district.
“The other program that were looking at purchasing 41 Lucas sawmills to cut and mill timber to help the local people build facilities like health centers, schools, churches and homes including logs for infrastructure projects like bridges and jetties that are of economic value.
“’We will distribute depending on the size of the villages and households a Lucas sawmill unit to each ward to cut and mill timbers.
“The other is the Chinese Government funded road projects from Bluff to Vailala in Kerema which has never been built over the last 46 years to link Ihu and Kikori to the main Kerema town. And on top of that we have the Ihu Special Economic Zone-ISEZ coming on.
“So these are some of the things we are doing to get our people prepared for many projects and resource investments coming our way like the road linking Hela, Southern highlands and Gulf provinces into the capital Port Moresby which will bring huge economic benefits and we don’t want our people to miss out and or greatly affected’’, said Minister Eoe.
The water filtration buckets are able to cure dirty sludgy water from any water borne diseases and they have been tried, tested and approved by the National Agriculture Research Institute-NARI.
The Ihu Special Economic Zone-ISEZ project has purchased over 300 filtration buckets and will be distributed to selected communities in the Kikori District especially in the West Kikori LLG villages as well as Popo and Orokolo villages in the Ihu LLG.
Minister Eoe says the purchase of the water filtration buckets compliments the efforts by the Kikori Districts to purchase water tanks for the district totaling K1million and the purchase of 41 sawmills for communities in the district to improve their livelihoods.
The Member for Kikori also says the filtration buckets will be beneficial to communities that rely on well water and creeks which are often contaminated and destroyed by heavy flooding yearly.
The filter is attached to a bucket and is purely gravity fed and is suitable for river, swamp and well water but not estuary saline water.
It is called Sawyer Point One Filter Operation and to operate, one needs to fill the bucket with water and allow it to filter through to another container and the output is in excess of 1200 liters per day.