Reader: Kadovar people becoming refugees in their own country


I WRITE this letter in response to the statement made by Wewak MP and Minister for Inter-Government Relations Kevin Isifu in The National on Monday.
His statement came after the presentation of three boats, garden tools, water tanks and fishing nets to the volcano-affected people of Kadovar in East Sepik, currently housed at Dandan care centre.
As a reader, citizen and wantok (family member), I am satisfied with the handouts, but I am really disappointed with the statement issued by the minister.
How can the minister say that the people are OK and self-sustaining?
He assured them that the money is on the land and in the sea.
As a mandated leader, does he really care to ensure their safety is guaranteed before they conduct those businesses?
How can they go about these activities, while they are still being temporarily sheltered at a care centre?
Do we have a roundtable dialogue or a memorandum-of-understanding (MoU) signed with the legitimate landowners at Dandan for Kadovar people to fish and do gardening freely without conflict?
This is a care centre and the name says it all.
They are still refugees in someone else’s land and how can this be?
I find it hard to match these comments with the term ‘care centre’ and life around it.
The plight of Manam Island people in Madang must be a stand out lesson and clear example to us.
They fought with Bogia landowners.
Many lost their lives and properties because of land and sea boundary issues.
Are we telling our people to fish and do gardening and end up in same situation?
Isifu and his team from Wewak district development authority still have a huge task on their shoulders to work on before issuing such statements.
When are you going to finalise the Kadovar Resettlement Authority Bill and have it tabled in Parliament?
When are you going to purchase a piece of land to establish a permanent resettlement?
This assurance should come after those things are up and running.
People are watching you as a new, fresh and vibrant young leader.
You need to do something quick to help the very people who have voted you in to politics in this term of Parliament.
Do not sit and wait for Manam issue to be settle first.
Manam disaster happened almost 15 years back.
People suffer under the nose of their previous leaders.
It’s their fault for not taking a bold stand to protect and help their people.
You are new in politics and you have to put a lasting legacy.
You will never go wrong in helping and reshaping Kadovar people’s livelihood.
All eyes are on you.
We the people of Papua New Guinea are becoming refugees on our own land in such cases.
This is because our government, especially responsible leaders with public servants serving in district and provincial level, cannot perform to the standard to ensure people’s livelihoods are restored.

Hanam Bill Sandu
Concerned Islander

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