The National, Tuesday 28th August, 2012
By JEFFREY ELAPA
TWO ministers in the O’Neill Government plan to address settlements issues in the country during their term in office.Minister for Police Nixon Duban and Minister for Health and HIV/Aids Michael Malabag said the settlements issue was a big problem that successive governments had failed to address urban drift and other law and order issues.Duban said settlements were a major problem for police and the government in his province.
He said settlements throughout the country should be planned and settled properly rather than allowing them to mushroom everywhere.He said most major towns and cities could not expand when people erected settlements on prime land.He said settlements were causes of law and order problems and were a hindrance
to development.He said his priority was to address settlement issues in his province by proper planning and relocation programmes.“When we have good settlement programmes and plans with improved housing, then issues like poverty, law and order and other social problems faced in towns and cities will be addressed,” he said.
Similar concerns were raised by Malabag, the member for Moresby Northwest, a suburb that has many settlements and faces a huge migration problem.
Malabag said settlements were a problem to development and progress in major towns and cities, with many issues like unemployment, hindrance to urbanisation
and poverty.He said there was a need to properly regulate a policy that would address it.
Malabag said settlements were not properly planned to allow services like electricity and water to be connected.