1st March 2018
SIX mine villages of the Star Mountains in Western Province have now extended their Tabubil-based business portfolio by venturing into a bottled water project.
This project is the second sustainable investment initiative of the Mount Fubilan Agro Business, a sustainable development company owned by the mine villages.
The ground breaking for the project was held on February 21, 2017 in Tabubil and witnessed by near 3,000 villagers from Atemkit, Finalbin, Bultem, Kavorabip, Migalsimbip, and Wangbin.
Ok Tedi Development Foundation Associate Director representing the North Fly District and mine villages, Maino Lucas said the funding for the water bottling project would once again be derived from Village Development Funds from all six Village Planning Committees, and Women and Children’s project funding.
The proportion of shares and funding is 60 percent from the mine villages’ development funds and 40 percent from the Star Mountain Women’s Association.
The project will be producing an estimated maximum of 2,400 water bottles per day, initially suppling Ok Tedi Mining Limited and OTDF requirements, and later to other suppliers like Nuigini Pride, Fubilan Catering Services, and the Star Mart Supermarket in Tabubil.
“The bottled water project’s main drive is to create employment and empower local communities into self-reliance rather than depending on OTML compensation all the time,” Mr Lucas.
Mr Lucas is also the Chairman of the Mount Fubilan Agro Business Committee which is made up of members form each respective mine village and Clara Fred Dangkim as the women and children’s representative. Mr Lucas added that Innovative Agro Industries would operate the water bottling project as an extension of their engagement to manage the recently opened poultry farm.
OTDF Chief Executive Officer Ian Middleton was pleased to bring the mine villages together again to join hands in investing in another worthy project.
“Water is life and the whole of PNG knows how much pure, clean water falls from the skies over the Star Mountains. Let’s drink our own home made products rather than importing bottled water products from around the world,” he said.
Mr Middleton said a Madang-based company called Fimali has been contracted to procure and install a containerised filtering system that will come from Australia, be pre-assembled in Madang and then shipped to Tabubil for instalment and operation.
PICTURE: Mt Fubilan Agro Business Board Chairman Maino Lucas (left) and MRSM Chairman David Kaiankim shovelling cement to fill the ground at the ground breaking ceremony.