Jiwaka tribes happy to lease out land for prison

Highlands

TWO big tribes in North Waghi, Jiwaka, are ready to lease their registered customary land to the State for a prison facility.
The land, about 45-50ha, is located between Banz and Nondugl constituency, north of Kerowil Singirok Barracks and Kurumul provincial headquarter.
Chief landowner and land custodian Robert Dirye said his people were happy to lease their land to the State.
“We put forward our submission in 2014 and the six local level government presidents in Jiwaka endorsed it,” Dirye said.
“We also had a roundtable discussion with the provincial government and they have sighted all our proposals and given their blessings.
“The jail commander for Barawaghi, commander of Kerowil Singirok Barracks, Governor Dr William Tongamp and Dr Fabian Pok, all the lands officials in the district and province, community leaders and the people have agreed to the location that we proposed.
“Our stance is very clear. Jiwaka is a new province and it is in urgent need of a Correctional Services function in place.
“The lock-up facilities at Barawaghi in Chimbu and Baisu in Western Highlands are overcrowded. They cannot take prisoners from Jiwaka any longer.
“Our land is ideal to cater for a jail setup, therefore we the Dange Karapka community comprised of six councillors from the Dange and Tsenglap tribes, are ready to lease the title to the State to start this impact project for Jiwaka.”
He said land-ownership issues were becoming a major obstacle for the State to implement vital functions in the provinces and districts.
“We do not want to become any obstacle or create landowner issues. We are united and are inviting the government to come in and start building the facilities,” Dirye said. “There is no place for people to claim compensations for the release of their land to the State for important functions like that.
“We want to release our land for free. We are only concerned about spin-off benefits for our future generations.”
He said two officers from the CIS department have visited the site.

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