Achieving selfreliance, health and quality of life in Papua New Guinea’s Western Province communities
OTDF and P&O Maritime Logistics continue program for aspiring cadets
[L-R] Andrew Mari, OTDF Program Services Sustainable Manager; John Connor, Head of P&O Maritime Logistics for Australia and PNG; Dominic Thyssen, General Manager PNG P&O; and OTDF CEO Havini Vira with the signed documents.
The Maritime Cadet Scholarship (MCS) program managed by the Ok Tedi Development Foundation’s (OTDFs) Education Division, renewed its partnership with P&O Maritime Logistics to extend its joint program for aspiring cadets.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on April 26th between P&O Maritime Logistics (PNG) Limited, a leading provider of maritime services globally, and OTDF.
Initially launched to alleviate the challenges faced by maritime students and their families in securing appropriate vessels to fulfill their practical training requirements for graduation, the program now creates new avenues for employment with P&O Maritime Logistics upon meeting maritime compliance standards.
Speaking about the signing, John Connor, Head of Australia and PNG at P&O Maritime Logistics, said:
“At P&O Maritime Logistics we want to make a lasting impact on the communities we operate in. The cadet program is therefore very important for us and we are pleased to continue our relationship with OTDF. Together we aim to produce highly skilled seafarers and positively impact their lives by offering employment opportunities. We look forward to the sustained mutual benefits that this partnership will continue to bring.”
Partnership promotes sustainable development
Andrew Mari, OTDF Program Services Sustainable Manager (R) presents the successful candidate with her acceptance letter
The partnership has been instrumental in promoting sustainable development and fostering positive change in the region. Mr. Connor has expressed his gratitude for the collaboration with OTDF via the cadet’s program and other community initiatives in the Western Province. Through this latest MoU, maritime cadets who are recipients of the OTDF Maritime Scholarship are eligible to complete their 24-month sea-time experience on-board P&O Maritime Logistics vessels. The renewed agreement maps out the respective roles and responsibilities of OTDF and P&O Maritime Logistics for the implementation of the training that commenced this month.
Equally pleased about the partnership, Havini Vira, Chief Executive Officer at OTDF, said:
“This partnership is an investment in young people from Western Province to make strong and positive contributions to their families, their community, the province and the country.”
Andrew Mari, Manager Program Services & Sustainable Development at OTDF, said:
“Thank you for the partnership and we look forward to continue this good working relationship.”
Captain Mark Saukeng (seated) from Olsobip in Star Mountains LLG of Western Province, is one of the first maritime cadets to complete training under the Maritime Scholarship program
In 2019, four successful candidates, two deck and two engineering cadets started their sea time training under the first agreement (MoU), and so far, 20 cadets have been trained since the inception of the program in 2013.
The CMCA Trust Administration is committed to deliver projects
L-R Mr. Gorowa Twanai, Mrs. Tumba Worin, and Mr. Diarum Wose the homeowners.
The CMCA Trusts continue to prioritise housing as a crucial agenda item. Providing a roof over one’s head remains a significant expense for families. To address this issue, CMCA villages access their village development funds to build homes.
One of the model homes handed over to the owner in Miamrai village
Recently, Miamrai village, located in the Wai Tri CMCA Trust region, celebrated the handover of the first four homes funded by the Miamrai Village development funds (VDF). Trust administrator, Mr. Johanis Saferius, expressed his appreciation for the community leaders as the key people in delivering the project. He emphasised the importance of taking ownership, stating all stakeholders have a role to play in ensuring successful outcomes for the project.
CMCA Trust Prioritises Housing
Mr. Saferius also acknowledged the local carpenter, Mr. Jimmy Aedwanai, and his ten-man team, who completed four of ten buildings funded under the Miamrai village housing project. He was pleased to report the carpentry work meets high building standards, and he anticipates the next six homes to maintain the same level of quality. Mr. Saferius announced Ok Tedi Power donated ten solar panels, ensuring all ten houses would have off-grid power and water catchment tanks for fresh water by the end of the project.
Trust Administrator Mr. Johanis Saferius (R) hands over the house key to home owner Gorowa Twanai (L).
The Village Planning Committee (VPC) chairperson, Mr. Tony Wainu, praised the project’s delivery. He expressed his gratitude for delivering the first four houses and thanked the OTDF for its commitment to delivering projects earmarked under the VDF as compensation payments to the mine impacted communities.
Wai Tri Trust Chairman, Gran Somoe, thanked OTDF for its logistic support and movement of material, which he considered crucial in the project’s success. He highlighted that the project’s success goes beyond the construction of homes, as it provides off-grid power and water catchment tanks, making it sustainable and eco-friendly. He emphasized that this project’s innovative aspects demonstrate the potential for sustainable development in the region.
The Executive Manager of Program Services Mr Eric Kuman apologised for the project’s delays and stated that OTDF is committed to support project delivery. He highlighted that funding components of projects, do not capture additional costs and for movement and logistics. As a result, OTDF has to source additional funds to move materials. Despite the delays, OTDF has shown its dedication and commitment to the region to fast-track project movement, ensuring that the remaining six homes are completed by year-end.
One of the homeowners, Mrs. Tumba Worin, expressed her gratitude for the three-bedroom family home and the partnership between the local builder, his carpenters, OTDF, and Miamrai village that made it possible. She acknowledged that the home would provide shelter and security for her family in the years to come.
The completion of the first four homes in Miamrai village is a significant milestone in the region’s development. The community’s village development funds, all stakeholders have all played crucial roles in making this project a reality. The success of this project highlights the potential for collaborative efforts to drive positive change and foster sustainable development in the region.
Local carpenter, Mr. Jimmy Aedwanai (3rd from left) , and his team, all locals from the village
OTDF continues with infrastructure development projects, with the remaining six homes to be built before year-end. Each house has three bedrooms, built to specifications on high posts, water tanks, and installed solar lighting.
Collaborative approach yields rewards
Mr Mari presents the rice to Mr. Devet, looking on is Mr. Robert at the Samagos rice mill.
Rice provides energy and nutrition for half of the world’s population.
The introduction of rice farming in Western province is to supplement the traditional carbohydrate sago, and with increasing price of rice, growing rice makes sense.
Sago takes eight years or more to mature while rice takes around 100 days before harvest. Recently OTDF concluded its first externally co-funded rice project, which saw more than 1000 tonnes of rice harvested in the Middle Fly, mainly to be redistributed as seeds.
To prove market value, 800 kilograms of rice from this harvest was moved to Kiunga for milling. Packed in 30 farm sacks, the rice was transported 164 kilometres up the Fly River from Middle Fly and delivered to the North Fly Agro Limited (NFAL) rice milling factory.
On hand to receive the delivery was the Managing Director for NFAL Mr. Nawani Devet at the Samagos Rice Mill factory. Mr. Devet explained the concept which NFAL is using to support small holder farmers economically. “We buy garden produce direct from farmers and sell to corporate clients by way of orders received. One major client is the Lotic Bige Limited (LBL), a land owner company who place bulk orders for vegetables and fruits from NFAL.”
800 kilos of Middle Fly rice prepped for milling
OTDF Program Services Sustainable Development (PSSD) Manager Mr Andrew Mari delivered the rice varieties this month. He said: “Partnership with key development partners like NFAL and consistency in extension work by the District Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) officers will motivate farmers to produce quality and quantity, as demand for food never decreases. OTDF livelihood development team are supporting small holder farmers in communities from the North, Middle and South seeking alternative market sources for vanilla, corn, eaglewood, rice, cocoa, fish and crabs”
Samagos rice mill
OTDF agriculture extension officer Jethro Robert explained that since the monitoring commenced in 2022, the trials showed two rive varieties of Asian origin as most suitable for lowland cultivation, and upland cultivation, with short growth cycles of between 100 to 120 days. He said: “During the testing of the different varieties, rice farming observations were captured throughout the project, from this information farmers were trained to continue planting rice according to climatic and geographical standards of the region.”
Jethro Robert unloading the rice
The rice once milled and packed by NFAL, will be sampled on the market to see potential market value.
This agro partnership between OTDF and NFAL is a way forward in addressing food security in the Western Province.
Who We Are
Each executive and board member, team and individual involved with OTDF is an essential part of achieving the goal of allowing the residents of Western Province to have greater choices in mapping out their own direction to live better lives.
What We Do
Operating independently of OTML since 2009, we are proud to have 50 full-time staff, 60 part-time staff, and committed volunteers throughout Western Province dedicated to ensuring our objectives and goals are aligned with those of the communities for which we serve.
To date, we have achieved significant outcomes across our investment portfolio and all five pillars of CMCA community development.
From inception as an independent organisation in 2010, OTDF has worked tirelessly with the CMCA communities to establish family and village-based economic and food production options.
Women's & Youth Development
Developing women and youth aspirations following the intensive consultative community engagement in the communities and mine villages.
OTDF continues to focus on infrastructure delivery for communities to gain easier access to regional centres and government services, and to get produce to markets.
The OTDF Strategic 5-year plan goal for the Health Sector is the CMCA primary health care service delivery strengthened and in line with the Western Province & National Health Plans.
The OTDF Education Sector goals are to improve to quality education services, improve teacher education and training.
Our latest Annual Report is a comprehensive report of what OTDF has achieved and defines/outlines our ongoing priorities and goals going forward.
Each month, our OTDF media team creates a PDF newsletter that encapsulates the many activities and achievements by OTDF, partners and communities.
OTDF is committed to cooperation and integration of ideas from our community, therefore, we are always interested in what you have to say.