ExxonMobil PNG Limited (EMPNG) today handed over the keys to a new community hall for the Lealea community, near the PNG LNG plant site. At a cost of K234,000 it is expected the Lealea Community Hall will become an important place to meet and hold community events.
Amongst other activities, the hall will be used for the village court sessions for the Buria Village Court and its 13 magistrates from Papa and Lealea villages. The current court sessions are held at the ExxonMobil PNG funded Lealea Fish Market which will be returned to the fishermen for its intended purpose to sell their fish and seafood.
LNG Plant Superintendent Al Sandoval said the company was delighted to work with the Lealea community to provide an important resource for community activities and events.
“This community hall exemplifies what it means to work in partnership with our neighbours. From working with you to identify your need, design the building and all the way through to construction by a local company providing jobs for local people. Together we have delivered an important resource which will benefit the whole community,” said Al.
Councilor Billy Tai from Lealea village expressed appreciation for the new hall and assured ExxonMobil PNG that they will look after it and use it for the benefit of everyone. “We will now have our weekly village court sessions in a new building and this will alleviate and address many law and order and social issues that we are facing in the village,” said Councilor Tai.
The structure of the building is steel to ensure durability. Local business WW Constructions, who employed qualified locals from nearby villages, were contracted to build the facilities.
The Lealea Community Hall is the first handover of a number of major infrastructure projects ExxonMobil PNG has been working on with project area communities through 2017. In the coming weeks a number of new resources will also be handed over:
• A new Women’s Resource Centre at Boera village, Central Province
• A new double classroom for Papa Community Preschool, Central Province
• A new double classroom for Kikori Primary School, Gulf Province
• A fully refurbished sub health centre for Baguale, Southern Highlands Province
• Eleven refurbished classrooms for Juni Primary School, Hela Province
In total ExxonMobil PNG spent K2,264,000 in 2017 on building new infrastructure or refurbishing existing community facilities in PNG LNG project areas.