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Media Releases, 12 July 2018

ExxonMobil PNG assists with restoration of food gardens in Hela Province

ExxonMobil PNG assists with restoration of food gardens in Hela Province
  • ExxonMobil PNG continues with its long-term recovery support for earthquake affected communities
  • Over 58,000 vegetative cuttings, 200 kilograms seeds and 900 garden tools distributed

ExxonMobil PNG Limited, operator of PNG LNG project is continuing to distribute planting materials and gardening tools to communities in its project areas as part of its long-term recovery plan to assist earthquake affected communities re-establish their food gardens.

The distribution is being coordinated by ExxonMobil PNG’s Community Livelihood Improvement Program (CLIP) partner ANU Enterprise. 

“ExxonMobil PNG is here to stay and as a good neighbour we are committed to lend a helping a hand to the communities who are in need of assistance to recover from the impacts of the earthquake,” said Andrew Barry, ExxonMobil PNG managing director.

The distribution has reached more than 900 household of communities living along the Pipeline Right of Way (ROW) at Benaria areas including Yarale, Timu, Lau, Benaria, Mulako Tangi, Tamita and Pakale. Other distribution sites around Hides include the well pads, 3 Ways, Nigiria, Perapu and Kulu communities.

Since the distribution started, CLIP has delivered more than 39,000 sweet potato vines, 19,400 cassava cuttings, over 20 kilograms of seeds and more than 900 spades.

The planting materials consist of pathogen tested sweet potato vines, cassava cuttings, green beans, corn and pakchoi seeds.

The villages are very remote and surrounded by mountains. The communities are mostly subsistence farmers, producing crops such as banana, sweet potato, cassava, pumpkin, peanuts and corn which were destroyed by the earthquake.

Seventh Day Adventist Church Pastor, Michael Mogolo of Mulako Tangi community in the Hulia LLG from the Komo Margarima electorate in Hela, said the communities thanked ExxonMobil PNG for the assistance and that it was the first company to set its foot on their land after the earthquake.

“Government officials and other companies find our place so remote and difficult to reach so we don’t get the assistance we need. A helicopter landing on our land to deliver the planting materials and garden tools is a story we will live to tell,” he said. 

ExxonMobil PNG is also continuing to provide support for the restoration of four key health care facilities and two primary schools in its project area in Hela Province as part of its long term recovery plan.

The company is also assisting the government to build infrastructure and key roads and bridges for Hela and Southern Highlands provinces that were destroyed during the disaster.