‘Squatters to stay’

National, Normal


DEVELOPMENT plans by the National Capital District Commission (NCDC) for the city will now consider illegal settlements and the problems they cause.
Governor Powes Parkop said he accepted that settlements “are here to stay” and that NCDC would have to deal with the situation.
Parkop, a human rights lawyer-cum-governor, said this at the launching of a research publication by the National Research Institute yesterday.
Parkop said settlements would not be seen for the problems they caused but for their potential in the development process.  
He said all settlements in the city, whether on customary or state land, would be integrated into the formal economic system to maximise their potential.
“Let’s see the settlements as an opportunity and not a problem.
“No city in the world has been successful in stopping rural to urban drift, settlements are here to stay.
“Let’s convert the settlements into an economic gain,” Parkop said.
He said that in the past 20 to 30 years, Port Moresby was developed by settlements.
Parkop made reference to a large number of formal and informal sector workers such as security guards, cleaners, public and private sector workers living in the settlements.
He said if settlers in the city were removed then employers would be facing problems.
He also said that the Vagrancy Act had become an easy answer for ridding settlements when problems arose, which should not be the case.
He said settlements provided homes for a crucial portion of the city’s workforce.