THE Baining people of East New Britain (ENB) do not want to be marginalised anymore in terms of economic and social development.
The Baining area is one of the least developed areas in the province due to its rugged and mountainous terrains which has in a way affected the people’s attitude towards development.
This is about to change as the people have come out positively to say they did not want to be enslaved by their inferiority and participate in development.
Last Thursday, the ENB provincial administration provided an avenue for the people to air their views on development in a one-day forum in Kokopo.
A Baining representative Nick Leo said the first and most important step was to organise their land in order to facilitate development as currently more than 50% of the land was unused.
“This will be part of a programme planned to be presented to the provincial administration.
“If implemented, it will add value and confidence to the provincial government to help Bainings,” Mr Leo said.
“The Bainings want the provincial government to use its land mobilsation policy that it currently has funding to free up customary land which are currently difficult to acquire.
“We want to organise ourselves on land matters, we have five big clans and we want to map out which clan knows their respective clan boundaries in Sulka and Mennen,” he said.
Mr Leo said the five clans could then be structured on top of major Incorporated Land Groups and later form an integrated land group.
“If this is done, then we are ready to partner in development,” he said.
Provincial administrator Akuila Tubal said the forum was in preparation for the development of the provincial development plan expected to be released later this year.
“It is important that all ethnic groups are adequately catered for in the plan,” he said.
A similar forum has been organised for the Pomio district.