The National – Monday, January 31, 2011
By TROY TAULE UPNG journalism student
CHAIRMAN of Eguma SML landowners business group Taulea Mosebi has thanked the government for the release of about K6 million to carry out detailed feasibility studies of possible economic projects on Misima in Milne Bay.
Taulea said that since the closure of Misima mine in 2004, economic activity as well as services available to the people had declined.
He said this had left not much in terms of business opportunities and prospects for sustained development for landowners.
“The government has shown great consideration and foresight to provide funds for the study.
“The funds will also be used to establish the landowner group’s administration and economic infrastructure for the development of Misima island and the region.”
Taulea also thanked the government for giving his group the opportunity to manage the funds themselves to undertake these activities as in the past funds were often misused.
Hesaid that funds would now be managed by the international accounting firm KPMG which would see a stop to the misuse of money.
“Contrary to the public perception, the government and its ministers do have ears for the landowners’ demands when they are reasonable and lawful but not when the demands are unreasonable and politically motivated,” Taulea said.
He assured the people of Misima that with the release of the funds, the process of putting together the long term development plan as set out under the MOA will be undertaken.
He said this was the most important goal of the study and until the feasibility study and social impact assessments were carried out, the plan would not be achieved.
Possible projects that would be investigated under the study include cash crops (cocoa, coffee and vanilla), small crops such as chilli, small scale alluvial gold mining, eco-tourism, large scale fishing, coconut oil production (bio-fuel) and aqua-culture.