The National, Tuesday 22nd November 2011
By JAYNE SAFIHAO
A PLAN to repatriate Sepiks from Kimbe, in West New Britain, is affecting other ethnic groups that have lived for more than 40 years in the province.
But the move is a welcome and wake-up call for many who have visited their home province only once or twice, the MOMA Association says.
MOMA is made up of Morobe and Madang people who will be included in the eviction exercise.
Steven Aroma, who is the treasurer and a local from Foroko, in the Gama local level government (LLG), in Madang, will be launching the Gende Oil Palm Ltd (GOPL) on Nov 26 in Bialla.
GOPL is a business entity set up for the sole purpose of helping the two groups once repatriation moves start to wherever the people decide to be resettled.
In favour of Aroma and his executives idea and for developments sake, the people of Foroko have agreed to free up 800,000ha of land for the oil palm project, with an initial 500,000ha towards logging.
Interim managing director Barnabas Tommy said: “We are being evacuated just like our wantoks the Sepiks who are fourth and fifth generation.”
Establishing a similar business idea, the MOMA Association, through the GOPL, is in talks with Walium district administrator, Jimmy Sekum, Madang provincial administrator, Ben Lange and other officers on creating awareness on the ground about the benefits involved.
GOPL is in talks with a multi-billion dollar Hong Kong-based company engaged in agricultural produce.
With the nod given by landowners of the three landowner groups covering wards two, one and four financing for initial paperwork and survey work will be the next agenda.
Similar to the newly-established Sepik oil palm project to be established on the Sepik plains, the MOMA group will establish theirs in the Gama LLG, covering the lower Ramu area.