Villagers call on govt to recognise them

National, Normal

The National, Thursday 20th September, 2012

THE people of Urr village in Kundiawa-Gembogl district, Chimbu, want the government to recognise them for supplying water to Kundiawa town for the past 29 years.
Urr Water Supply Landowners Association chairman Guma Ambane said the 300 people who owned the land at the water source had not benefited from any proceeds from the water.
He said a K6.8 million released to a John Kua was for landowners who owned the pipeline area from Urr to Kundiawa town, excluding landowners of the source area.
“John Kua represented a third party group that took the government to court where K6.8 million was released for landowners living along the pipeline stretches and not the water source landowners,” Ambane said.
He identified two principal landowners and chiefs, Koma Wauwe and Korugl Pigle, as the real owners of the Urr water source and whom he said had not received any recognition from the government for the use of their water.
“They waited with us, their children, for the past 29 years and could not be recognised.
“We want to put a claim to the government to pay us for the use of our water for 29 years because the pipeline area claimants have been paid already,” Ambane said.
The flow of water from Urr into the Kundiawa town has been stopped because of heavy excavation work being carried out by the Shorncliffe road construction company working on sealing the Kundiawa-Gembogl road.
“If the government fails to address our claim, the water supply will be closed down, meaning Kundiawa town will not have any water supply,” he said.
The town is now relying on an alternative water supply source from Monguma village, up the hill towards the northwest of Kundiawa town.
“We, over 300 members of the Urr Water Supply Landowners Association, are submitting a claim to the government for the use of water for the past 29 years because we did not see any spin-off benefit for the use of the water,” Ambane said.