By Martha Louis – EMTV News, Madang
The National Government has budgeted K20 million to help with the first phase of relocating the affected Manam Islanders.
Planning Minister, Richard Maru, says the challenge is now on the Provincial Government and the chairman of the Manam Restoration Authority to get the office of MRA running. Maru, says a plan needs to be put in place of where affected islanders would be relocated to so that the National Government could release the funds.
The Planning Minister says the resettlement of Manam islanders has been talked about for a long time and it is about time it happens.
Maru says the Provincial Government, the chairman and board of the MRA including a CEO that still needs to be appointed to manage all local issues, are some of the things that needs addressing in order to move forward with the relocation.
Talks on the resettlement of more than ten thousand displaced islanders by the volcano eruptions since 1996 until the recent one on the 23rdof January 2019 has taken a long time. Since the passing of the Manam Restoration Bill and the formation of the Authority to date the resettlement of the displaced islanders is yet to occur.
However, Minister Maru, says the National Government is committed
Some of the functions of the Manam Restoration Authority includes the identification and acquiring of land for the displaced islanders, and providing infrastructures like roads, bridges, schools and other basic government services.