Papua New Guinea Windmill & Water Project

 

Named “New Guinea” by YƱigo Ortiz de Retez in 1545 and later administered by the Germans and Australians until it gained independence from Australia in 1975 the Independent State of Papua New Guinea is home to some of humanity’s oldest cultures.  Given its geologic history and inestimable biodiversity, outsiders have seen Papua New Guinea as “a mountain of gold floating on a sea of oil.”  German occupiers, Catholic missionaries, and Australian miners and drillers have a long history of seeing the inhabitants of Papua New Guinea as cheap labor on the best of days and a complete nuisance in their quest for resource extraction and pillage the rest of the time.

Aided by “development bank” manipulation, misinformation, and explicit inequitable business negotiations, Esso Highlands Limited, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil Corporation received the license to be the latest in a string of marauding interests in the country.  Bouyed by their November 2009 off-take agreement with Sinopec Corp with which Exxon has agreed to sell 2 million tones of liquefied natural gas (LNG), the PNG LNG Project has enriched several investors while adding to the systematic abuse of the local communities.

From “accidental deaths” including a recent fatality of a child who happened to be playing with blasting caps left unattended by contractors to forced relocation through coercion and force, thousands of Highland communities – many of whom have been living in their villages for tens of thousands of years – have become Exxon refugees.  These displaced persons have scattered across the country but many – estimated to be between 10,000 and 15,000 have descended onto squatter towns around Port Moresby.  These displaced person encampments have no gardens, no potable water, no sanitation and no prospect of having these issues addressed.  All the while, Exxon trucks, pristine white Toyota trucks, Land Cruisers, and contractor vehicles race through these dusty villages as they race towards completion of an estimated $15 billion project that will be a windfall for U.S., European, Chinese, and Japanese investors.

For about six years, David Martin had been working on various community engagement projects in Papua New Guinea. Some of the work has included restructuring mining contracts, repatriating land from the Catholic Church to an East New Britain community, and expanding the global reach of the regions first organic certified spice company. Through this previous work in Papua New Guinea, we were introduced to Clement Kanau, a gentleman who sees a future for PNG that empowers the citizens in partnership with, rather than exploited by, the world.  Clement has decided to run for Parliament to build a new sense of identity for Papua New Guinea.  Rather than waiting to get into a position of power, he elected to demonstrate the type of policy he would like to see implemented by officials – policies that would address real needs of communities.  Feeling compelled to act, Clement negotiated with the landowners to use a section of government land to build a model village in which we could relocate the displaced communities.

In May of 2011, Clement Kanau met with David and asked if he would hold a meeting with representatives from the displaced communities.  David agreed and met the group on Elder’s Hill (located on the new property).  When he saw 50 people walking up the hill to meet him, they greeted each other and immediately decided to start living a new story.

Rather than repeat a systemic story of destitution, brokenness and abuse, the group decided to use this moment to give the members of the community something that had been lost.  Using M•CAM’s Integral Accounting environmental audit process, they took stock of the possibilities present in their local environment. Since the communities had been moved from their homelands rich with water supplies, they jointly decided that clean water would be the best building block to start rebuilding the communities.  

After leaving the meeting, there was a lot of work to do.  How could we, together with the elders and PNG community engage the global community to participate on this project?  On the flight out of Port Moresby, David Martin wrote a blog post and challenged the world to step up to the situation.  Two people responded.  First, David’s mom, Ruth Martin, reached out followed quickly by Bob Kendall.  Upon discussing options, Ruth and Aaron Martin decided to fund the windmill infrastructure.  The deal was structured so that windmill would be the basis for a water utility and income from the utility would be used to maintain the operation, pay workers, invest in additional technology and store wealth to replicate this operation in further deployments. Knowledge of this process, which includes a multi valued return of principal, allows the community to perpetuate and persist a cycle of communities responding to communities.  We are getting the first process started and we want to obsolete ourselves as quickly as possible!   We’d like to invite you into our world and manifest the next community and build a community of action around the principles stated above. 

The team began working on the project and partnered with the The Aermotor Co. (also known historically as The Aermotor Windmill Company).  Aermotor manufactures windmills which convert wind energy to mechanical energy and use the mechanical energy to pump water out of the ground.  Since 1888, Aermotor has continuously improved the designs of their model.  In this book, we assess windmill technology from many angles.  First we will introduce The Aermotor Co.’s historical timeline, map their innovation history and then provide a compendium of Aermotor’s actual patent documentation.  Following these sections, we expand technology options.  Other innovators throughout the years have improved components of windmills to be used in in new ways and in other applications.  We review these options to surface ideas and potential partners.  As an appendix, we included short primers and exercise relating to wind, wind power and the mechanics of the process.  We hope the book inspires innovation, repurposing and different avenues of engagement within and between communities.  

View The Global Innovation Commons Sets Around The PNG Water Project HERE

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