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19 December 2012

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Just wonder if some of the large number of drums of cyanide that fell off a ship in the early days of the Ok Tedi mine have corroded and the leaking dangerous chemical is now effecting the river and or its fish.

Could this be causing these apparently unexplained health problems?

I agree with David's sentiments.

I guess the obvious question that arises for all Papua New Guineans to reflect on is;

"at whose expense do you enjoy some of the benefits of modern society and government?"

Thanks Keith for sharing this with your wide audience, and thank you to the commentariate here for your kind words. Even 5000 words shortchanges the complexity if the issues. We're very lucky to have an enterprise like the Global Mail emerge in these precarious days for media to support and host this kind of longer-haul, away-from-the-spotlight journalism.

The neglect of Western Province has haunted my conscience ever since I visited Kiunga and the lower Middle Fly region in 2004.

I cried when I visited then and I still do when I think about them.

I cried because I couldn't fathom the mismatch in how much they give to the rest of us and how much we give back to them in return.

They have vast land, an abundance of other resources and a ready made highway in the Fly River system that they can use to improve their lot.

Do they choose to live in such miserable conditions or have they been neglected by someone?

Have they received proper guidance and assistance over the years to try and better their own lives? If not, then why not?

Yes, thanks for the article.

I read it to the end and felt very sorry for the people of the Fly River region.

The Western Province will need a lot of help with their efforts to rebuild the Aid Posts and train the nurses that work in them.

It is such a vast sparsely settled area one wonders if re-settlement schemes, with a sound agricultural basis and with good public services, would be the way to go.

Superb article Jo and very sobering reading.

Please endeavour to get it out to the multitudes via Weekend Magazine in Post-Courier and The National and TV.

I hope Senator Bob Carr and Richard Marles are reading Attitude this morning.

As can be expected from Jo this article is superb - well researched, profoundly moving and very salient.

I encourage you to read the full version. It covers a wide swathe of what major ills befall PNG society and threats to the future of PNG's younger generation.

The resistant TB epidemic is truly frightening in its consequences for PNG and Australia. The SDP could provide the resources to respond effectively, but too much seems to disappear once it gets into Moresby bank accounts.

This article should be required reading for all PNG and Australian politicians and senior civil servants.

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