Supporting the restoration of health facilities in the Highlands for the recovery of the communities is one of the ways that ExxonMobil PNG is supporting the nation’s relief efforts following the devastation of the earthquake on Feb 26.
ExxonMobil PNG managing director Andrew Barry said: “Several of the health centers in the communities near our Hides Gas Conditioning Plant have been damaged or have been displaced following the earthquake. In addition to assisting with delivering critical medical kits, we are helping with assessments and providing logistics support to the health workers, as relief agencies work to re-establish health services in affected communities.”
Meanwhile, deliveries of food, water supplies, tarpaulins for shelter as well as medical and hygiene kits continue for communities across the Highlands including Kutubu in the Southern Highlands, Hulia, Tari, Hayapuga and Komo in the Hela Province and Huiya in Western Province. ExxonMobil PNG has so far delivered over 20 tonnes of food and water, over 200 tarpaulins and 35 hygiene kits in addition to support for relief agencies that require transport for their workers to affected areas.
For the longer term, ExxonMobil PNG is planning to support the re-establishment of food gardens in a number of our project area communities, with our partners from the ANU Enterprise (ANUE), through our existing community livelihoods improvement program.
“Similar to healthcare, the re-establishment of food supplies for the community here is going to be important in the following weeks and months. Our ANUE partners have indicated they will be looking to get back into the field shortly to help address the critical need to re-establish food gardens in communities near our facilities,” said Barry.
“We have been working with ExxonMobil PNG and target communities in the Hides area since operations began in 2014 to address food security, vulnerabilities and income generation. To support the restoration of communities recovering from the earthquake, our teams are currently preparing to get into the field to assist them with initial planting materials so that they will be able to grow their own food again,” ANUE Project Manager Owen Hughes said.
Plans by ANUE include issuing to some 2,500 families quick-growing corn seed that can be harvested within 100 days of planting, and the purchase and distribution of vegetative cuttings for longer-term staples like sweet potato and cassava. ANUE will also be providing garden tools for people to cultivate their gardens again.
Said Barry: “ExxonMobil PNG is committed to supporting the long-term recovery of quake-impacted communities around the Hela, Southern Highlands and Western provinces and will continue working closely with relief agencies and the National Disaster Centre in its effort