Locals organise ILGs to benefit from hydro project

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday August 6th, 2013


LANDOWNERS of the proposed multi-million kina Hewai hydro-electricity project in Tari, Hela, have formed interim incorporated landowner groups (ILGs) to push for their benefits and participation. 

The landowners are from the two major tribes, Yape and Hanadape, that live along the Hewai Falls and the Tagali river, in the Hayapuga LLG area of Tari district. 

The landowners met at the Kobalu PNG LNG project camp on Saturday to organise themselves into their different clan groups and nominated their ILG chairmen for the clans in the two tribes. 

The Yape ILG chairmen are Andrew Pulupe, Isaac Mandolo, Talipe Tayanda, Piyari Pangale and David Pangale. 

The Hanadape tribe ILG chairmen are Simon Ekopia, James Iapra and Taumuni Matialu. 

The landowners welcomed the engagement of international developer, Innovative Agro Industries, from the LA Group of Israel, who have already begun the feasibility study and design of the project. 

During the meeting, the landowners passed four resolutions for the provincial government and the developer to address. They are:

  • Payment of seed capital for the landowners to their umbrella company prior to the start of the project;
  • The developer must consult the chairman of the interim ILGs before revealing the hydro-development plan or in carrying out other tasks at Hewai Falls; 
  • The developer and the provincial government assist the landowners when needed; and 
  • The land must be incorporated and registered prior to the commencement of the hydro-project. 

Landowners representative Andrew Pulupe said while they supported this project, which is of significant importance to Hela and the country, it was equally important that the developer and the provincial government communicate and have a dialogue with the landowners for the smooth development of the project.