Mineral Resources Star Mountains (MRSM) subsidiary company of the Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) is providing urgent food relief supplies to drought stricken communities in the Ok Tedi Mine area.

The company supplied up to one hundred and fifty thousand kina (K150, 000) worth of non-perishable food items to the area to assist the ten landowner villages surrounding the mine.

The current El Nino weather which forced the temporary closure of the Ok Tedi Mine is now taking a toll on the people in the area with vital food supplies usually brought into the area by ships, unable to reach the people due to the low water level at the Fly River.

A MRDC assessment team visited the area last week to assess the impact of the dry spell found that the people were severely affected as major food suppliers in Tabubil had run out of basic food supplies such as rice, tin foods, and water.

About four tonnes of rice bags were flown from Port Moresby into the area free of charge by the Hevilift Charter Company who has come onboard to support MRSM’s efforts.

The remaining supplies of tinned foods and other non prerishable items have been purchased in Tabubil town and will be distributed together with the rice bags to the communities over the next week.

The Board of MSRM, saw communities suffering and urgently approved the funds to provide relief to the people.

A team from MRDC as well as members of the Village Development Committee from the ten mine villages are on the ground to assist with the distribution of the supplies.

MRSM is a landowner company that holds a 3.05 per cent shareholding in OTML, that’s held in trust for the benefit of these ten Ok Tedi landowning communities.

MRSM thanked Hevilift Charters for its kind donation to airlift the supplies to Tabubil free of charge.

Above: MRSM Director Tobby Ngonkim (centeer) speaking at Kavarabap

Supplies for villages across the ok tedi. Director John Atmeyok receivees bales of rice from MRDC Kini Renagi

MRSM Directors Discussing Distribution plan