On the 26th of July Mekamui News got a called from Nagovis to go with a team from Healthy Community to a village call Panam where they been holding a community training for the participants from all of BANA District. I walked down to the main road and the truck picked me. We left Arawa around after 9am.
Anthony Siona, a former member of the first house of Autonomous Government Of Bougainville and former Commander of the BRA in the area and one of the participants of the workshop wants to voice out his peoples stand on the hot topic of reopening the Panguna mine.
After the closing of the workshop he told Mekamui News that his people are totally against reopening the mine. He stated that they were not given the chance to speak at the Bana forum. He commented that the forum facilitators came with their milk and honey to force down onto the people.
In the interviews in Panguna a woman who wants her name with held told Mekamui News that the people near the mine site were told they would be moved and relocated to Bana District, however Mr Siona says that Bana District is over populated already and don’t have enough land to accommodate more.
When asked if referendum is good he says yes because silent voices in the rural areas are not heard only by putting it down on paper should they be heard.
Another woman from Orami who attend the workshop says Panguna mine must not be reopened Government have to look for other resources for the money they need. We learned many good things from Healthy Community workshop, which we can make a good living with out the destruction, which cause by mining. We had enough of pain and suffering related to mining, now our gardens, food and greens are better than when the mine was running.