Resource owners paid K100,000 to restore water supply

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AGGRIEVED water resource owners have been paid K100,000 to restore water supply to Goroka town, Eastern Highlands Governor Peter Numu has confirmed.
He said consistent water supply for town residents, businesses and institutions was crucial so the Eastern Highlands government despite its difficult financial situation released K100,000 for the Komiufa landowners last week.
“We have a big Goroka Provincial Hospital that is heavily relying on consistent water supply, schools relying on town water supply, business houses and important institutions like the University of Goroka, PNG Institute of Medical Research Institution, churches, residents and the list goes on,” he said.
Numu said the landowners claimed K2.7 million from the Lands Department but his government paid K100,000 so the landowners would restore supply and continue pursuing the claim.
“The Government has to pay this K2.7 million to acquire the land on which the water is running, the Government has to fairly compensate the people to acquire the land,” Numu said.
He said when National Planning and Monitoring Minister Richard Maru wanted to bring in Water PNG to manage the Goroka town water supply, the landowners should be compensated first.
“I am pushing for the payment to be made in due course as it is the responsibility of the national government to pay them,” Numu said.
Landowners representative Moses Saitore said they were waiting for 20 years and were never paid and in frustration they shut the water down last week.
“We cannot continue to wait any longer, I thank Governor Numu for his support to have their claims settled once and for all,” Saitore said.

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