By Adrian Tavarai/Cultural Awareness

In the March April edition of Lihir I Lamel, we ran some progress updates of the rest house building project in the preserved cultural site Men’s houses in the Putput Plant Site area. At that time, when the article was published, the work only covered three haus bois of Kabanga and Lativis in the small boat harbour next to the environment office and Maron Haus boi in the main wharf laydown area.

The project team which involve a multi-stakeholder team of traditional haus bois owners and their respective clans, LMALA, the local contractor company Establish Building Construction and Maintenance and Lihir Gold Limited were proud to witness the completion of all 4 rest houses in the preserved haus boi areas in the Putput Plant area at the end of June of this year. The rest houses are located at Maron Haus boi (Tinetalgo Clan main wharf area, Latavis (Lakanba clan), Kabanga Haus Boi (Masnawo clan) at the small boat harbour area and Labarai Haus Boi (Likanba clan) at the main office beach front area.

A memorial cemetery called the Potpot main cemetery at Latonebere is also located within the plant site and is respected, preserved and maintained monthly as a cultural heritage preserved site. A couple of milestones in terms of achievement from this rest house building project were achieved. The project was completed successfully with no safety incidents and on the expected time frame thanks to the hard working contractor EBCM employees and the various teams that were involved one way or the other in this project. There is more work that needs to be done which was highlighted also in the last article before a site management plan can be fully developed and implemented.

The preserved cultural sites in the Putput Plant site area are regularly monitored through a weekly inspection and monthly clean up which is undertaken by women from Putput with the assistance of youths. The project is part of the overall fulfilment of the Putput and Ladolam Relocation Agreement under the 1995 Integrated Benefit Package (IBP) Agreement. Specifically, the project is aligned to Clause 13 Temporary Loss of customary Village land 13. (a), (b), (c) (1) (11). LGL has an obligation to maintain and preserve the site during the operation of the mine and will be handed back to the respective families and their clans after this mine closes.

The project also fulfils our site level Community Policy requirements particularly Community Standard 7 Cultural Heritage and Community Standard 6 Community Relocation. Apart from community fulfilment, health, safety, environment expectations from the company are also met. Lastly, the project is also aligned to higher level conformance requirements in the PNG National and Museum and Art Gallery Act 1992, Cemeteries Act 1955 (PNG), National Cultural Property (Preservation) Act 1965 (PNG)and Environment 2000. At the broader global level, the project is an example of a number of tasks that can be undertaken at the ground level complying with performance standards such the International Finance Corporation (IFC) IFC PS 8 Cultural Heritage and PS 5 Land Resettlement.

Kabanga Hausboi. Pic by Adrian Tavarai/SD

Maron Hausboi. Pic by Adrian Tavarai/SD

Potpot main memorial cemetery at Latonebere. Pic by Adrian Tavarai/SD

Labara Hausboi. Pic by Adrian Tavarai/SD
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