ESP, Sandaun discuss urbanisation

Momase, Normal

By GYNNIE KERO DWU journalism student

INCREASE in population, development taking place on customary and State land, urbanisation and lack of co-operation between landowners and the Government were some of the issues outlined during a one-day workshop held at the Windjammer Hotel in Wewak last Thursday.
Sandaun and East Sepik stakeholders who missed out on the Momase regional workshop held in Madang on a national urbanisation policy (NUP), were given the opportunity to have their say last week.
East Sepik deputy provincial administrator of technical services Benjamin Warakai told those present at the workshop that almost all towns around PNG were growing out of control.
Mr Warakai said towns like Wewak needed proper planning for effective development to take place.
“There is no proper planning. We need to support the policy and focus on planning,” he said.
He said developments taking place on customary land was also an issue and East Sepik needed to support the NUP and co-operate with landowners for development.
Mr Warakai also made it known to the customary landowners who were present that the policy would  help them generate income from developers on the use of their land, without selling.
The office of urbanisation had taken the lead since 2006 in coordinating the implementation of four pilot projects- two based on undertaking urban development utilising customary land, Taurama( Port Moresby ) and Faniufa (Goroka) and two based on the rejuvenation of district centres, using State land in Minj, Western Highlands province, and Tari, Hela province.
Deputy director of the office of urbanisation Elias Masta said the workshop was to inform
stakeholders of the contents of the draft NUP, to consult and solicit input and seek endorsement of stakeholders on NUP.
Mr Masta said NUP was viewed as a framework and plan designed to strengthen the economic, social and environmental fabric of PNG’s towns and cities by better managing the urbanisation process for the 20 years to 2030.
He said the NUP was also the start of renewed efforts by the office of urbanisation to unite all levels of government, key stakeholders and
landowners in each towns and cities to discuss, review and make decisions on the future of urban development.
The NUP will be officially launched in February next year.