Drilling and blasting is currently happening at the land slide site at Pausa, Wapenamanda in Enga Province. Clearance work has been going on for 3 days now and will continue into the weekend.
That’s from Mr Peter Jimbi, Supervisor for Highlands Drilling and Blasting Contractors. Mr Jimbi told PNG HAUSBUNG that there are two contractors engaged in the clearing exercise, the Holden Blasting Contractor and the Highlands Drilling and Blasting Contractors.
“Holden Blasting for the last two days was trying to blast the boulders but the boulders were too strong and huge and as a result some of their machines were spoilt so Highlands Drilling and Blasting contractors now came in to help.”
“We are providing the machines, blasting machine, excavator and bulldozer to assist Holden and to fast track the clearance process.”
Mr Jimbi added that clearance is happening from both sides and they are working their way in and most of the debris, earth and masses of rocks are push down the cliff into Wara Lai.
“The boulders are huge and so much came down the mountain during the land slide so the clearance exercise will most likely continue into the weekend and onto next week Monday or Tuesday.”
Jimbi stated that most likely by Wednesday or Thursday next week the road should be fully clear with all clearance exercise finishing on Tuesday next week because the boulders look like they need about 3 to 4 blast before they can be cleared down into Wara Lai.
“Currently any traveller coming from both sides trying to go into Enga or coming back down to Mt Hagen has had to pay certain amount of money to the landowners who are assisting the contractors in clearing the landslide as well as assisting the travellers across the land slide.”
“The landowners have been helpful in clearing the landslide and assisting travellers,” said Jimbi.
“Whenever the machines stop working the landowners quickly go in and clear the earth and make way for travellers to cross, and when they cross they give like K1, K2, even K5 or K10 to the landowners for their assistance over the landslide.”
Mr Jimbi further stated that Police and PNG Defence Force are monitoring the situation and making sure that crossing is safe and that there are not tension between the travellers and the landowners.
They are also providing security to the machines and the contractors.
It’s understood that Provincial Works team too is on the ground monitoring the land slide clearance exercise.