By Louisah Frank – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Squatter settlements have existed in Papua New Guinea’s capital, Port Moresby, for more than 40 years.
Over the past few years, the number of settlements have increased, however little has been done to improve lives of people living in settlements.
Settlements lack basic services such as road and infrastructure, water, electricity and sanitation.
Due to inadequate supply of serviced land and the high cost of accommodation within the city’s suburbs, people have no choice but to live in squatter settlements.
The government and stakeholders’ negligence to settlement dwellers have forced them into taking part in illegal activities.
NCD Governor, Powes Parkop, told those present at yesterday’s launching workshop for settlements that he has plans for settlements in the city.
He believes if land titles are given to settlers, it can make way for developments that will convert settlements into suburbs and solve illegal activities.
Governor Parkop’s vision is in line with the National Settlement Upgrading Strategy and the NCDC Settlement Upgrading Program which were presented yesterday.
NCDC is working in collaboration with the UN Habitat, the Department of Lands, Eda Ranu, PNG Power and other stakeholders.
There are already 12 local settlement project areas; however implementation has been slow due to lack of funding and corporation from stakeholders involved.
NCDC Settlement Project Officer, Micros Nea, said surveys have been carried out in project areas and reports were submitted to NDoL, however they have not received a feedback to this day.
Deputy Chairman of 5 Mile Gordon Ridge Urbanisation Association, Paul Neara, added implementation is slow because the settlers are not fully involved in the project. He urged the stakeholders to get settlement dwellers to fully participate in order to implement the plans already in place.