By CLARISSA MOI
The Wagang Fisheries Port project in Lae is currently in the feasibility study process, National Fisheries Authority (NFA) managing-director John Kasu says.
Kasu told The National yesterday that they had already done cadastral and topographic studies, and hydrographic survey, and were now moving into carrying out geotechnical site investigation studies.
“These three studies basically form the basis of the main feasibility study that will take place this year,” he said.
Kasu said they were also dealing with land issues at the same time.
“We’ve been actually talking to the landowners,” he said.
“There are a number of landowner groups actually involved.
“The study we are carrying out at the moment is the land investigation study.
“We’re looking at determining the rightful landowners through this process.” Kasu said they had been working very closely with Lands Department and landowners to get their consent.
Two of the groups gave their consent last year for NFA, Lands and provincial lands to carry out land investigation studies.
Kasu said social mapping, clan-vetting, land valuation, scope of work, project development plan, land investigation report and land valuation would come from the feasibility study.
“At the moment we haven’t started yet,” he said.
Kasu said NFA’s position was basically to ensure land investigation studies moved forward.
The outcome from that will give information on who are the rightful landowners for them to deal with.
Kasu said signing a memorandum-of-understandings (MoUs) with the landowner groups would not eventuate now until land investigation studies were completed.
“Once we know who the real landowners are, we can begin to have that understanding and we can basically work on other things under the MoU,” he said.
“At this moment, we cannot sign any memorandum-of-understandings but are just investigating.”
Kasu said this also included resettlement of Bumbu settlers.
He said what they were doing is for the best interest of the country and the landowners.
By CLARISSA MOI