This is how Israel builds its soft power. As civilised peoples increasingly recognise the Jewish state as a racially discriminatory anachronism from a different age, Zionism must cultivate backing from smaller, more desperate nations keen for infrastructure and cash. Hello Papua New Guinea:
The people of Hela and the Israelis will work in partnership to develop a major hydro-electricity project [to cost] PGK300 million [US$136.9 million] using the mighty Hewaii Falls of Tagali river in Tari.
Southern Highlands Governor Anderson Agiru announced this during an awareness visit on Tuesday to Hapono and Mapana villages near the Hewaii Falls in the Hayapuga local level government (LLG) area in Tari District.
To the applause of the huge crowd that had gathered for the occasion, Governor Agiru said he would lead a delegation to Jerusalem in Israel on Christmas Eve this year to sign the agreement between the government and people of Israel and Hela for this major hydro-electricity project. Governor Agiru said the Hewaii Falls hydro plant would be constructed over a period of six years and would provide power just like the Yonki hydro plant in Eastern Highlands Province. Governor Agiru said landowners would also have ”˜equity’ in this hydro-electricity project just like the landowners of the hydro carbon industries in the multi-billion kina PNG LNG project like Hides PDL1, Hides 4 PDL 7, Angore, Juha and Komo LNG international airport. He said the PNG LNG project has a lifespan of 30 years but the Hewaii Falls hydro project would be everlasting and is expected to bring in more benefits and developments to the landowners now and in their future. Governor Agiru who was accompanied by engineers, investors and officials from Israel and PNG’s Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) to the occasion said pre-feasibility study work on the hydro project would start this week including identification of possible construction site before actual design and construction begins.
He said as a project of huge magnitude, it would take time. He has urged his people for patience as they embrace this huge development coming into their area which is also situated a few kilometres away from the Nogoli, Kobalu, Hides PDL 1 and Angore hydro carbon project areas. Governor Agiru urged his people to look after the engineers and experts who would come and develop their hydro-electricity project, adding that with this another major hydro-electricity project in Hela, he has created a “ridge and an everlasting relationship” between his Hela people and people of Israel, the “Biblical Promised Land”. He said apart from the hydro-project at Hewaii Falls, Israeli food technologists and investors have also signed agreements with the provincial government to develop three major agro-industrial centres (AIC) in the province at Hulia in Tari, Koroba and Tente in Mendi. Governor Agiru said with these AIC and factories, food, cash crops, vegetables, animals, livestock, poultry and all agricultural produce would be produced, processed and packaged for both commercial and domestic consumption. He said AIC would involve the development of barren and waste land in the province into plantations like the huge Hayapuga swamp in Tari and others while there will also be arrangement with landowners to work their own land and grow products and animal husbandry to supply to the AIC as food security project.