PORT MORESBY, 29 MARCH 2018 (THE NATIONAL) — Papua New Guinea Disaster Emergency Controller Dr Bill Hamblin says over K10 million (US$3.1 million) has been paid to road contractors and suppliers engaged after the Feb 26 earthquake after their contracts were confirmed.

Road contractors and suppliers are paid according to certificates of inexpediency given by the Central Supply and Tenders Board.


Hamblin said payments for helicopter and Defence Force placements in Hela and Southern Highlands were settled too. To reduce spending, they had stopped the hiring vehicles.

The team plans to provide funds for the transfer of medical staff to affected areas.

“More medicines are being purchased for other provinces,” Hamblin said.

“These would be distributed in coordination with provincial authorities. Water tanks will also be purchased for areas such as Telefomin, Kandep, Kikori and Fly River.”

He said discussions were going on with NGOs and WASH representatives to provide water purification tablets, jerry cans, soap and 360 prefab latrines for the care centres.

Supplies of food were also being transported to affected areas.

“We are doing everything possible within our resources with the UN and other bodies to help those that have been displaced,” he said.

“We are trying to ensure that the most vulnerable people are cared for, are protected from disease and that most of them will eventually be able to return to their villages and rebuild their lives.

“We are allocating resources prudently and ensuring costs are minimised in the best interests of all affected people,” he said.

Meanwhile, Police in Mendi have been called in to monitor the distribution of earthquake relief supplies after fights among villagers collecting supplies.

Mendi police station commander Gedion Kauke said there had been issues and they wanted officers present to ensure supplies were distributed fairly.

“We have people from different villages coming in to the relief centres and supplies were not distributed equally,” he said.

“We had some fights, so we decided to have officers in the relief centres to ensure that relief supplies were distributed equally.”

Kauke said roads had been cleared and relief supplies were reaching places previously not reached….. PACNEWS [/restrict]