Small Sepe runs across the road, only to find chicken bones and wasted tissues crushed together in a pink greasy plastic.
He’s happy, though, humming aloud, Mokai’s Oh Lau Mickey while rescuing the plastic for his half-ripe mangoes.
His sister Geua peeps in anticipation of the contents of the pink plastic, but even from a few meters away she can already tell.
The day is almost gone, a dark-crusted island of billowing clouds delaying the last of the setting rays. Geua and Sepe pack their loads and hike towards the crooked hill leading to Boera village,.
Day in, day out, morning till noon, Geua and Sepe - like most of the average villagers - practice this lifestyle just minutes away from the money tank. It’s a ten minute walk to the LNG plant site at Portion 152 Boera. It used to be a hunting place, especially at this time of the year. Not now
But a practice still innate in the lives of the impacted villages of Porebada, Boera, Papa, Rea and Lealea in the Hiri-western peripheries of Port Moresby is looking for water. Fetching water is like breathing. A phenomenon that, if it were stopped, would slow down all related line of duties required for basic survival.
Many people thought that the development of LNG Portion 152 operations would bring great prosperity and better living standards. However reality is constructed otherwise as described in the corporate plans.
Though mining brings positive impacts to the economy of a country, this scenario does not paint every picture. The government does not have the right policies in place to address and deal with land ownership, waste management and disposal and other related social aspects of industry.
The Motu Koitabu people, who live in the vicinity of the US-based ExxonMobil’s proposed LNG plant at Portion 152 in Port Moresby are feeling the pressure of such a huge development as you are reading this.
The impacted villages have always had their internal problems such as clan owners’ rights and etc. Porebada, the most densely populated among the four, is by far the singlemost village which has not seen any form of infrastructure development such as aid posts and recreational centres for youths, though they were promised.
The Araua clans of Lealea also have their grievances with the Department of Petroleum and Energy and ExxonMobil to settle landowner issues first before further proceeding with the gas development.
Boera on the other hand, seems to be riding smooth for the moment. Recent reports have indicated that Boera Holdings Limited is currently commissioned to construct a satellite township development on the 155-plus hectares of land comprising a total of 791 allotments.
However, the people in the four impacted villages are unified under what is now called the LABA Alliance Group.
LABA Alliance Group Limited is the company contracted to provide all camp services to the Pioneer contractor and sub contractor camps at the LNG plant site at Portion 152. Laba Holdings became an official business partner of the Alliance Management Group on 19 October 2010 – formalising the company. It represents the four villages in the Central Province project area; Boera, Papa, Rea and Porebada, with a combined population of 20,000 plus people.
Take for instance of the expenditure wages as a principle impact In the immediate local project impact area in Portion 152 and elsewhere in Papua New Guinea, benefits would be expected to flow through the economy from expenditure of wages of PNG LNG Project staff on purchases of food, consumables, vehicles and other assets.
It is estimated that during the construction phase, post-tax wages paid to national and expatriate contractor staff will be a combined K2.3 billion per annum. Assuming that national employees spent 50% of their disposable income and expatriates 10%, the indirect impact during the construction phase could be expected to be about K250 million per annum.
During the operations phase, with lower employee numbers and a greater proportion of national staff, the post-tax earnings of expatriate and national employees has been estimated to be K11 million and K86 million respectively. This represents a significant input into the local economy.
However, the causes of rural poverty are complex and multidimensional and still at large from the impacted areas of Portion 152. They involve, among other things, culture, climate, gender, markets, and public policy.
Likewise, the rural poor are quite diverse both in the problems they face and the possible solutions to these problems. This examines how rural poverty develops amid current developments and what accounts for its persistence.
Broad economic stability, competitive markets, and public investment in physical and social infrastructure must be widely recognized as important requirements for achieving sustained economic growth and a reduction in rural poverty.
In addition, because the rural poor's links to the economy vary considerably, public policy should focus on issues such as their access to land and credit, education and health care, support services, and entitlements to food through well-designed public works programs and other transfer mechanisms.
If theses directions are not entailed in this decade, then surely many people will still ask, where is Development?