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Bulolo’s Sepik Settlers Still Awaiting Land Allocation

As the new year approaches, Sepik settlers in Bulolo who were displaced during ethnic clashes in 2010 are still waiting to be relocated.

Bulolo District Authority CEO, Tae Gwembalak says land is being surveyed for the relocation process.

However, Sepik Leaders say the land earmarked for relocation has a mining lease and may cause problems later.

Kas Anduari’s story is one of many. He and his family take shelter under the Bulolo Library.

They’ve been living there for six years after they were displaced during an ethnic clash.

In the last six years, the displaced Sepik settlers have been waiting for relocation, but Kas Anduari and a few other Sepik leaders say the process is slow, and they’ve been kept out of the loop.

“What is it that would benefit us? There has been no open forum to inform us, we have been kept in the dark since 2010 up until now,” Anduari said.

Living under the library is difficult; Kas Aduari, his wife, daughter and grandchildren all sleep under the building.

They’ve built a small kitchen and tried to make their stay even more comfortable.

Bulolo District Authority CEO, Tae Gwambelek says surveying has been done to land and it will be allocated accordingly to the displaced.

“We are waiting approval and application to the Survey general to endorse this subdivision, and then we will go into some form of agreement with those interested, and then they will have apply for leases, ” Gwambelek said

Sepik Leaders are skeptical about land tied up with mining leases and some hectares classified as wasteland.

They said the land has owners who will claim the land later on and they may be forced off the land again.

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