By Eric Haurupma (UPNG Journalism Student) – EM TV, Port Moresby
Landowner groups from Papa Village, near the LNG project site along the Motuan coastline in the Central Province, have demanded for the payment of outstanding royalties from the government.
They claim that they have not received their equity payments ever since the first shipment of the liquefied natural gas in October 2014.
Papa landowners said after 56 million tons of liquefied natural gas was shipped overseas; they have not received any royalties from the government to date.
The only payment they got from the government is the 10 million kina land compensation payment.
Papa villager, Miria Unage said the impacts of this project on their environment have greatly affected the lives of the people in the area.
“Much of their land and seas were used to build plant facilities for this project,” said Unage.
These areas are traditionally used by locals for fishing, hunting and gardening. While major developments are underway, land-grabbing is another issue experienced by the locals.
“Foreign companies affiliated to this LNG project have taken over their lands, without proper consultation,” Unage said.
As a result, gardening and fishing which were once priority activities in the area have decreased. The only spill-off benefit is casual jobs with companies attached to this project.
“Water supply is a major problem in the village. Locals have been using containers to fetch well water for cooking, drinking and washing since before the project began,” added Unage.
Meanwhile, they are expecting the government to settle their queries in due course.