BY DANIEL KAKADI
THE Sandfly community in Ngella, Central province, have engaged in a two-day awareness on the destructive outcomes of mining over the weekend.
The talk was organised by a small team of four self-funded volunteers from the Ngella forum social media group.
The talk was held at Leitongo-1 and Dala villages attracting more than 100 listeners.
Speaking to the Island Sun, Ngella forum members said, “The purpose of the trip is to make awareness on the destructive outcome of mining if the sandfly people would allow mining to take place in sandfly.”
Leaders from both villages applaud the Ngella forum members for taking up the initiative to facilitate this awareness to their people, and are calling on the provincial government to listen to the people on such matters of concern.
One of the leaders in Leitongo-1 village says the Ngella forum group must work together with the Valevoukolu ( house of chiefs) to address mining and logging issues facing the province.
He questions whether mining is in the best interest of the Ngella people, or whether the people stand to benefit in the long run.
He adds that they have learnt lessons from neighbouring province Rennell and Bellona and the social and environmental problems the people there are facing, so as in neighbouring countries like PNG and Vanuatu.
The last day of awareness at Dala village have shown that people have expressed their support with the Ngella forum saying
Participants, during the last day of talks, expressed that “it is a good thing to see indigenous sons and daughters the upcoming generation of Ngella are taking the big steps to tackle issues that affect the people and the islands”.
Among the key speakers, were Kenneth Sagupari a degree-graduate in tourism and hospitality from USP and Francis William Rea, studying information science in the Philippines who also has experience in tracking mining in the Pacific.
Ngella Forum strongly condemns mining and logging in the Central province.
“One of the obvious avenue that fits Central province is tourism with the beautiful islands of central province once mining takes place as logging, mining and tourism don’t go together in development s we will lose our potential for tourism for ever,” says Mr Sagupari during the talk.
The team have thanked people who have supported in preparing and launching the talk. “It shows that we do have a big concern for our islands.”