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6 May 2019

Radio New Zealand

Porgera villagers lack access to good water, study finds

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1 May 2019

Communities living around Papua New Guinea's Porgera gold mine lack enough access to clean water to meet their basic needs.

They are also exposed to concerning levels of chemicals linked to mine operations, according to a new report 'Red Water: Mining and the Right to Water in Porgera'.

...Cressida Kuala from the Porgera Red Wara Women's Association says she has long suspected that water in the rivers which flow through her village and others in the mine area is unsafe to drink.

...The interdisciplinary team of human rights experts and environmental scientists who conducted the study urged the PNG government and the mining companies--Barrick Gold of Canada and Zijin Mining of China--to take action to ensure the human right to water.

...As well as the health impacts from the mine's toxic waste, dozens of Porgera women have been acknowledged as victims of rape and assault by Barrick's former security contractors, but not adequately compensated...

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