NMSA provides under CEP - Papua New Guinea National Maritime Safety Authority
The National Maritime Safety Authority’s (NMSA) Community Development Department through its Community Engagement Program (CEP) have Community Lighthouse Committees (CLC) set up for most of its Aids to Navigation along the country’s coastline ensuring safe passage for all vessels traversing through our waters.
The CEP is to ensure that people who live within the vicinity of these important infrastructure take ownership and ensure that they continue to function all through out with minimal outage.
The NMSA through this program provides an annual financial assistance to the communities who are expected to utilise the funding for small initiatives in the communities.
Though it is understood to be minimal, the CLCs are encouraged to utilize this to seek funding from other sources or have it accumulated for a bigger initiative.
In Milne Bay alone, there are 35 CLCs established and have been part of the CEP since its inception and only a few have shown initiative to utilizing these funds such as the construction of the United Church building of Yabam & Pahilele Communities.
The CDD extends its gratitude to both the Wekaúna and Tubetube Island CLC for their initiatives displayed and anticipates that publicity of such will motivate more initiatives that will be realized in the other 32 Community Lighthouse Committees in the Milne Bay province alone.
The CLC funds of the Tubetube Island Community that were accumulated over a period of time, the Island Community were able to put to good use in providing the much-needed assistance in improving the school infrastructure on the island.
The community are currently working on the completion of a classroom and mess facility that will cater for the children who paddle in from neighboring islands and including those from Tubetube island itself.
Meanwhile, with three navigational lights at Krangket Island in Madang province, the Islanders can now see and appreciate physical change in their community after a successful completion of a concrete footbridge making crossing and accessibility easier across a waterway following the Nazawan Footbridge construction.
This project funding was purely from the annual financial incentives under the CEP, which have accumulated over five (5) years that are put into its purpose for small community improvement projects in coordination through the CLC for Krangket Front, Krangket Rear and Boyes Reef Lights in consultation with Ward Development Committee (WDC) and leaders of Krangket Island.
The concept of the CEP was introduced for lights 3 nautical miles range and higher and due to the excessive occurrences of vandalism and damage sustained to these very important maritime infrastructures, more particularly, the lighthouses, as a result of the attractiveness of the solar panels and batteries used on the structures to illuminate the lanterns.
Under the CEP, the department ensures:
- Community Lighthouse Committees are established for lighthouses and;
- Leases are made on an annual basis for sites that are located and identified as customary owned.
Additionally, the department also plays an important role in terms of raising awareness on the importance of aids to navigation and maritime safety issues in the remote communities and during provincial events.
NMSA Chief Executive Officer, Paul Unas congratulated the respective maritime communities for coming up with such initiatives and urged them to look after these projects for their benefits.
He also encouraged the locals within the maritime communities to also look after the lighthouses located in their respective areas as this equipment not only serve large merchant vessels but also helps local fisherman who can depend on the flashes from the lighthouse to navigate their way to safety during bad weather and visibility is impossible.
Mr. Unas urged the established CLCs to work with the relevant authorities including police officers and communities located in the 15 maritime provinces to help prevent people who want to vandalise NMSA’s assets.