Islanders agree to resettlement

National, Normal

The National- Tuesday, January 18, 2011

 ABOUT 300 Manam islanders in Madang, backed by their clan leaders or Kukurais at Baliau village, have agreed to the provincial disaster office temporarily resettling villages in the danger zone southwest of the island for three months at Bieng Catholic mission station.

The islanders confirmed their agreement at a meeting held at Baliau village, Manam Island, on Jan 8 between the islanders and provincial authorities to deliberate on the relocation plan.

The relocation plan involved the temporary resettlement of 713 families from Kolang 1 and 2, Boakure, Abaria, Warisi, Dugulaba 1 and 2, Madauri, Waia, Zogari and Yassa communities at Bieng Catholic mission station near Boda and Baliau villages.

Baliau paramount chief Caspar Kauke said he accepted the affected communities and assured the government that his people would assist the communities in any way possible.

However, he did lay out a few conditions which he urged the provincial authorities and relocated communities to respect.

These include :

. The affected communities to observe law and order within the society;

. The communities from South-West to occupy the proposed airstrip area while communities from the north-east to occupy the mission station or the sports ground;

. The government to assist with food and water supply; and 

. The government to fast track the process of permanent relocation out of the island before major disaster strikes.

The provincial disaster office is coordinating all preparedness and response actions with cooperative assistance from both the provincial 

and district governments, prominent citizens including former Madang governor and businessman Sir Peter Barter, business houses and churches.