UNORGANISED squatter settlements have outgrown the already shrinking suburbs in our towns and cities.
Settlements have grown overwhelmingly.
Due to the rising demand of housing in our major towns and cities which cannot cater for the increasing population, people tend to be involved in land grabbing of state and customary land.
The trend of illegally occupying state land in our towns and cities is evident especially in our capital city, Port Moresby.
The surging squatter settlements are putting strain on the already-burdened government services and also pose socioeconomic hurdles to our local communities.
It is difficult to bring government services to illegal settlements because houses are built with no consideration of future roads and developments.
Water supply is one of the major issues affecting Port Moresby other towns.
Illegal water connections are also increasing in settlements.
Water bills are not properly monitored and collected by the responsible authorities such as Eda Ranu or PNG Water Board.
The same can be said for electricity.
There are illegal electricity connections in settlements nationwide and that is becoming a norm.
The Government loses a fair amount of revenue through those illegal connections.
Some settlements are breeding ground for criminal activities.
The environment is conducive for drug trade, especially marijuana. Illegal operation of liquor shops, gambling and prostitution is a common sight in settlements.
It is up to the Government to do something about it.
The sooner we address it the easier and better it will be.