News In Brief16 June 2020
Mortlock Island receives support from Steamships Community Grants Programme
Mortlock, an atoll island located 250 km north east of Kieta and inhabited by more than 600 people, has received funding from the Steamships Community Grants Programme.
Engulfed with issues of rising sea level and relocation, the islanders are not sitting around waiting to be noticed.
Supported by the Steamships Community Grants Programme, Mortlock Islanders will soon be constructing their aid post after 15 years.
The Mortlock Takuu Island Climate Change Association (MTICCA) President, David Marena was excited to hear that their project application was successful.
The Aid Post which will be built at a cost of K110, 000 will service the islands more than 600 population.
According to David Marena, materials were purchased in Rabaul and then shipped to Kuta wharf on Buka awaiting their final destination to Mortlock Island. Much of the work was delayed due to the current pandemic experienced by the world and completion is expected before the end of the year.
“I’m grateful to the Steamships Community Grants Programme for providing an opportunity for us to improve our health services on the island. After almost 15 years we are on our way to building our aid post,” remarked David.
The Steamships Community Grants Programme considers applications from Papua New Guinean registered charities to fund community based initiatives focusing on health, education and social welfare.
The programme has impacted communities in many ways by improving access to early learning, access to clean water and sanitation, providing teaching materials and training, creating training for health based community workers as well as providing facilities.
According to David Marena, “we have had various support from aid agencies in the past to build community infrastructures such as classrooms, teacher’s accommodation and a library. The island at most times remains completely cut off from Bougainville, the country and the rest of the world due to poor communication infrastructures and lack of efficient sea transport available.”
A properly functioning aid post building is very crucial and important to service the community. The island has been without an aid post for more than a decade, since it was hit by king tides in 2010.
“One of the primary purposes of the Community Grants Programme is to identify projects and initiatives that will bring positive change and benefit to Papua New Guineans. It’s great that Steamships has this opportunity to support MTICCA NGO to deliver a service that aims at improving health services on a remote island community.”, remarked David Toua, Steamships General Manager for Corporate Affairs.
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