Informal Settlements on the Rise

By Vasinatta Yama – EM TV, Port Moresby

A one-month eviction notice was issued in November last year by the Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL), to a group of settlers illegally occupying the Eight Mile, Moitaka Swamp Area, portion number 1468.

The land belongs to the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, and is still undergoing development for its housing project.

However, with the 2014 New Year’s preparation, the eviction was unsuccessful.

The eviction notice was served for them to vacate the area by 31 December 2014, or be dealt with by the rule of law if they refused to leave.

The settlers were willing to leave but wanted the department to extend the eviction date, to give them time to look for a new place to re-settle.

These illegal settlers have been living there for more than 25 years.

Today, they live and grow food crops on this land, and call it their home village.

Some parts of the land have already been developed into building DAL’s staff accommodation, a project that has been outstanding for over 15 years.

Meanwhile, informal settlements have grown in Port Moresby as urbanisation continues to put stress on the city’s housing and service infrastructure.

The settlers at Eight Mile, Moitaka Swamp area want the government to look into the issue of illegal settling, and provide legal land for people like themselves to settle on.

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