SOIL erosion, water and land shortage are the three biggest problems facing the people of Raluana local level government (LLG) in the Kokopo, East New Britain.
Raluana is the most affected LLG when it comes to water supply as there is no reliable water source in the area.
People living in the uphill wards of Vunatagia, Bitabaur, Vunamurmur, Nangananga and Ralalar have to cart water to their homes from privately-owned water sources on the beach.
This is a very expensive and costly exercise for the people.
During dry seasons, hundreds of people walk all the way to the beach for a bath on a daily basis.
This can be dangerous at times.
I call on the Kokopo administration and the Raluana LLG to continue to explore ways to establish a reliable water supply for the people of Raluana.
The rainy season may bring water for the people, but the heavy floods and soil erosion which result from these heavy rains create havoc for the people as soil is carried away to the beach, leaving behind huge drains and gullies.
On many occasions, food gardens, cocoa and coconut plots and even homes have been washed away by the floods.
The floods and soil erosion have led to a more serious problem of land shortage, which is now affecting more than half of the people of Raluana.
I urge the East New Britain government and administration to assist in securing land in order to resettle some of the people to lessen the pressure of an overpopulated LLG.
Young couples who have one or two children should be resettled elsewhere where they can work the land and make a living for themselves.
Raluana LLG President