Locals creating illegal settlements, says mayor

Papua

LOCALS in East New Britain are leading outsiders in establishing illegal settlements in Kokopo city, Lord Mayor Diuvia Kopman says.
“It is sad that our own people are creating illegal settlements and also allowing outsiders to settle in those settlements,” he said.
“We have been blaming outsiders but in reality, we are to blame ourselves.”
Kopman said these illegal settlements were growing in Kokopo city and have become a huge concern.
The squatter settlements are growing fast along the coastlines of Kokopo and in other parts of the city.
“These squatters are promoting social problems such as prostitution in the city. These are problems that we cannot continue to hide,” he said.
Kopman said these squatters were also accommodating unemployed youths who were more involved in drug sales and consumption.
Although the sale and use of drugs is common in urban areas, Kopman said it was also a big problem in the rural areas of Kokopo-Vunamami Urban local level government (KVULLG).
“Times have changed, urban and rural areas now have common problems that need immediate attention.”
He said KVULLG was ready to work with other urban LLGs in the Islands region to conduct combined survey exercises to identify all settlements in the region.
He added this would make planning, monitoring and eviction operations easy.

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