By NAOMI WASE
The people of Manam Island in Madang, who are living in care centres are facing school fees problems, their council president says.
Iabu LLG president Martin Ururu said apart from other problems faced by the Islanders, school fees were a major concern for all parents.
Around 12,000 people of Manam Island were forced to evacuate the island in 2004 when a volcano erupted and they are now living in care centres in Bogia and Sumkar districts.
“My officers have been bombarded with request for school fees but my LLG cannot help because there is no money,” Ururu said.
He said the Manam Resettlement Programme should assist the parents. “The LLG has been trying its best to pay school fees for university students, vocational and technical students but unfortunately we are running out of money because last year the Government didn’t give us our funds and now the LLG cannot assist,” Ururu said.
He said he had approached the Madang provincial administrator recently and was advised to write a letter so he would do that. Manam People’s Sustainable Development Association chairman Henry Konaka said even though some students were eligible to continue their education they could not because of school fee problems.
Other problems faced by the Manam people include food shortage, poor housing, lack of clean drinking water, shortage of medical drugs and conflicts with landowners.
By NAOMI WASE