The National – Tuesday, February 1, 2011
A ROAD to connect 15 inland Hote and Yamap communities of the Salamaua council area in Huon Gulf was launched last Sunday.
The joint district planning and budget priorities committee allocated K1 million for the road which was initiated by former Huon Gulf MP Tukape Masani more than 10 years ago.
When the road was first constructed, it began at Kela village on the coast and stopped inland near Kamiatam village.
It picked up again at Buakap and ended at Malalo Lutheran mission station.
This time the route was moved to include Asini village frustrating the customary landowners who are claiming compensation for damages done to fresh food, cash crops and land.
Before the launching, Salamaua president Hagai Joshua, manager Joe Paru and district administrator Tony Ase had talks with the disgruntled landowners and pointing out to them that they would be receiving more in benefits if the road was in place.
The landowners, who had received some money as compensation, said K1 million allocated for the road project was insufficient.
Joshua told the villagers the project would also provide opportunity for coastal communities to venture into
other cash-generating activities.
“We can no longer remain as we are today. We have to re-think and consider future generations of Salamaua and putting ahead land compensation claims will get us no where,” he said.
Ase said that service centres would be established in the three council areas of Wampar, Salamaua and Morobe to drive socio-economic activities.