The National, Tuesday 29th November 2011
ONE group of landowner who occupy the coastal pipeline corridors in Central wants the government and developer of the LNG project, ExxonMobil, to recognise them as beneficiaries.
It claimed to represent more than 20,000 people from Manumanu, Kido, Hisiu, Obo, Ala Ala and Yule Island in the Kairuku district.
Its representatives claimed they were no different from any pipeline landowners from Southern Highlands, Hela and the Kikori areas.
Spokesmen and Hisiu village chief Richard Oriamiria, Leo Aihi and Philip Paru said although they were not part of the UBSA and LBBSA, they were concerned about the marine biodiversity which supplied their daily needs “just like the people who farm and hunt on the land”.
They said so far, pipes had been laid in their traditional waters, their traditional fishing grounds and they should be equally compensated for their sea, the source of their livelihood.
They said over the past two months, the villagers had
found it difficult to catch fish
and prawns as a result of the offshore pipeline activities.
They are equally concerned about the future impact on their lives and that of their children.
They said, traditionally, they had no limits to their sea as they could go fishing beyond the 5km buffer zone rules enforced by foreigners because it was “their sea”.
They said 4.1km of the 5km buffer zone was their traditional fishing zone.
They said the company and government had misled them and they called for discussions to be facilitated by their local member Paru Aihi to address the issue.