The National – Friday, July 1, 2011
By FREDDY MOU
AFTER more than 20 years of waiting, the people of Vovosi village, in Hoskins district, West New Britain, can now plant their own oil palm – thanks to Oil Palm Industry Corporation (OPIC) personnel who helped sort out a land ownership dispute.
Village elder and councillor Elias Wase was happy to tell the people the good news last Friday.
The dispute started when the people of Porapora village claimed the people of Vovosi were moving beyond the boundaries set by their elders.
“We have waited far too long to plant oil palms as we are the last village in the Hoskins district to do it,” he said.
“Resolving this dispute and coming to a compromise with our neighbouring allies was a relief for the people,” Wase said.
He said the people were delighted they could plant because they would now have an additional income stream.
Wase said the people would be challenging other oil palm planting communities in the district on how to spend money to improve their livelihood.
“Many communities in the district spend their money on things that only ruin their lives. Alcohol and other unnecessary things will not improve the livelihood of the people.
“I encourage my people to invest their money on their children’s education as this was the last resource to turn to because all the land will be used to plant oil palm,” Wase said.
The mediation took place at OPIC head office at Nahavio, in Kimbe.