Yarapos landowners want talks with govt

Momase, Normal


ATTEMPTS by Yarapos landowners in Wewak to set a date for negotiations with the East Sepik provincial administration have been to no avail.
The disgruntled landowners last Thursday threatened to close down the Mercy Secondary School after attempts to resolve sewerage water problems prove fruitless unheard.
Spokesman of the group, Caspar Yake, who was in Lae last week, said they had no desire to shut down the school.
He sais they had been trying to get the provincial government to hear their case.
The threats to close down the school had stemmed from an issue concerning customary land on which the all-girls school is located, he said.
Mr Yake said the school administration and the board of governors engaged a surveyor to survey the land.
He said the land where the school is located is customarily-owned and the engagement of the surveyor was done without the consent and knowledge of the landowners.
Mr Yake added that the Yarapos Primary School land was also surveyed by the same surveyor and a map was drawn up for both sections of the land.
The survey had enabled the secondary school to receive assistance of more than K1 million from the PNG Incentive Fund.
He claimed the money was used up for the construction of two new double classrooms for the secondary school while the needs of the primary school were not attended to.
Another issue was the building of the school’s sewerage pond upstream that had contaminated the mainstream river.
He said villagers used the river for cooking, washing and drinking but because the water has been contaminated by human faeces, the villagers  have stopped using it.
With the school year ready to begin next month, the problem has hit a brick wall with no response from the provincial government.