ABOUT 5,000 people residing at Garden Hills settlement in Port Moresby were forced to leave their homes recently.
These are human beings.
They are taxpayers and citizens of this country.
They have a right to a decent life.
They deserve to be treated fairly.
They, however, knowingly had illegally settled on the land.
Eviction notices were or may not have been given to the settlers.
Relevant authorities are sometimes ignorant in addressing illegal establishments by squatters such as the Garden Hills one at the beginning.
This should have been avoided if something was done more than a decade ago.
I wonder if the Garden Hills case is similar to the one in Paga Hill some years back where settlers should have rights to a resettlement.
Is the Paga Hill resettlement exercise complete?
What happened to the settlement to suburb programme boasted about in the National Capital District?
I hope it is not another political propaganda.
Let us hope Bush Wara and 9-Mile settlements are not the next to be demolished.
Relevant authorities should start working to contain and minimise illegal settlements in Port Moresby and other centres around the country.
The Government has to be real with its citizens now.
It has to strategically come up with plans to do something about these illegal settlements.
Partly, it is the illegal settlers to be blamed, but technically in general, it is the failure of the Government and the relevant authorities.
The Government needs to address this rather than ignoring it because the exercise of carrying out an eviction is easier than the exercise of how and where these taxpaying citizens will rebuild their lives.
Aaron Peter Mawe