By Jack Lapauve Jnr – EMTV News, Port Moresby
The National Government is looking at options to relocate and settle the volcano affected Kadovar Islanders of East Sepik Province.
In a recent joint news conference, Minister responsible, Kevin Isifu, says talks have been held with the Murik Community and that all options will be considered, before permanently settling the villagers.
Nearly 600 men, women, and children are currently residing at the Dandan Care center. It has been 10 months since the Kadovar Islanders were relocated to the mainland of East Sepik. However, life has never been easy for the Islanders who have faced many issues.
After visiting the Dandan Care center recently, Minister responsible and local MP, Kevin Isifu made it known that talks have begun with communities in Murik.
“That land is about 3,00o hectares, so we are now looking at negotiating with landowners there and getting the paper works in order so that we can identify it quickly. by Next week we will have a team coming down to Wewak, to check on the status of this land and resolve with the landowners so can confirm that area and we can permanently resettle our Kadovar Island people.”
He says under the Restoration Act the Islanders will be permanently resettled. Isifu says the Government is aware of hiccups faced at the Dandan Care center.
“Under due course, I will sit down with my district disaster committee and my DDA so that we can resolve to see how best we can look after our people and take care of their daily needs”
According to Kadovar Islanders, NGO’s, churches, donor partners and private stakeholders have come to their help in the past 10 months. They also want an audit into the operation of the care center.
Meanwhile, National Planning Minister Richard Maru says the Kadovar and Manam Islanders will be included in the 2019 Budget.
“So I can certainly confirm, from my perspective in the development budget for next year, we’ll be providing funding for the relocation of both the Kadovar and Manam people” Minister Maru said.