Monday, May 30, 2011

Fire Guts Papindo in Ramu

The only supermaket that serves the people of Ramu in Madang Province was gutted down by fire on Thursday afternoon (28th May 2011). The value of the loss has not been established.
Picture: Sharon Onsa-Popple; Courtesy of Post courier
By Sharon Onsa-Pople, Post Courier
THE only major supermarket in the Ramu Valley that serves the 6000 people of Ramu Agri-Industries Ltd (RAIL) estate and its local communities went up in flames yesterday at about 3pm.
The fire started at the warehouse section of the shop and quickly spread through the entire building with looters taking advantage and breaking in a stealing whatever they could lay their hands on. The store is owned by the Papindo Group of Companies.
Papindo, who has been one of the major service providers in retail and wholesale goods, has been a part of the Ramu community in Gusap for many years and the community were yesterday left wondering how they could access goods and supplies.
A RAIL employee said in Tok Pisin: “Displa store em olsem garden blong mipla. Na nau em paia na bai mipela i go kisim ol kaikai long we gen? Kainantu na Lae em ol longwei, na nau bai mipla painim moni gen long baim PMV long go long bikpla supermarket.” (This store is like our garden. Now that its burnt down, where will we get our food? Kainantu and Lae are too far and we have to find money to pay for PMV and go shopping there.”)
Papindo Ramu Supermarket manager, Richard Aung was lost for words when approached. Mr Aung said he was sad the supermarket which provides for the community had burnt down and that his 50 employee’s would not be able to go to work due to the fire.
He said, he was lost for words in losing this supermarket that has also become a part of the community and a meeting place for everyone in Ramu.
He said, he would wait for instructions from Papindo head office in Lae to give more details.
Looters managed to get into the side of the building and made off with whatever they could get their hands on.
They didn’t seem to worry about the risk of getting burnt.
The value of the loss has not as been established.

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