Landowners eyeing development ties with Northern govt

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Binandere landowners in Northern are working on partnering the provincial government to develop resource projects while protecting their land.
With assistance from the government, the chiefs’ council established a forum for increased participation in the development of the resources.
Governor Gary Juffa yesterday presented the first part of the K70,000 funding assistance which would be used to develop the plan.
“I’m very proud of how they have come together as a community, and their dreams and aspirations are to participate in the development of their own resources in determining their own future and they want to partner with the provincial government,” Juffa said.
“If there is going to be any sort of development, the chiefs’ council must have a say.”
Juffa said the government in 2012 embarked on a policy to ensure inclusiveness to ensure that resource owners were not marginalised.
“We took this proposal to (the late) Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc (former chief secretary),” Juffa said.
“He supported it and we trialed a pilot project and established the first chief’s council at Nindewari.
“The provincial government made a commitment to fund this council and will continue to fund it
“It becomes part of the recurrent budget of K200,000 every year.
“The chiefs’ council will be located in stations and districts headed by a permanent chairman, with representations from ward councillors, women, youth and the church.
“In that way, all stakeholders are consulted in any major developments such as forestry, fisheries and mining or gas projects.
“This entity will carry out social mapping, ensure no conflicts and will recommend to PEC (provincial council) and provincial government whether the project is in the people’s best interest.
“It is my ambition that in the next five years that this pilot project progresses well.”
Chief Peter Waide said the Binanderes had decided to take on the challenge to see changes in their community.
“We haven’t seen government services going down to the our people. People have suffered for more than 40 years,” he said.