Acquire land for settlers, govt told

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 10th April, 2013


THE government needs to acquire land, subdivide it and build infrastructure for people in settlements to re-settle on, Lae Lord Mayor James Khay says.

Khay was referring to settlers at Javani Tais and 2-Mile’s Zero and One Block who are likely to be evicted after the Morobe provincial government served them a 30-day eviction notice.

Lae district administrator Robin Cletus said the Javani Tais land was in land portion 509, section 86, allotment 14 and 15. The provincial government has obtained the title to build the Javani Industrial Park there.

The swampy and mosquito-infested area was improved by settlers thinking that it was customary land owned by the Labu Lunda clan. But an increase in industrial activity is forcing people to move out.

It was claimed that the provincial government, Labu Lunda and a company had been fighting over the land.

Khay met with settlers last Sunday and told them to work together and ensure that the government must acquire a piece of land before evicting them.

“Humans reside in settlements because companies and the government failed to provide affordable homes despite paying hefty taxes and contribute labor to the state,” he said. 

“Evictions need to be done taking into consideration human dignity and rights.

“Human beings are human beings and animals are animals. Therefore a land needs to be acquired, sub divided and basic infrastructures put in place before being eviction.

“If we evict them without offering alternatives, where will they go or settle to raise their children as they need education and health? This is insane.”

Labu Lunda leader Alex John said he remained the legitimate customary landowner.