A prominent Madang citizen, and landowner, says the provincial government needs to define long term strategies to deal with the eviction of illegal settlers and repatriation.
Tamlong Tabb from Siar village, raised the concern following increasing pressure placed on land and resources following fresh round of evictions.
Settlements near the RD tuna cannery were demolished with assistance from police two weeks ago. Settlers were forced to leave.
The eviction came about after a long tussle between the settlers and provincial authorities who were under pressure to clamp down on the high crime rate in Madang Town.
“The Provincial Government must be clear on how the province handles the evictions,” Mr. Tabb said.
“After the eviction, the settlers moved across the road onto our customary land and are building new houses there.”
In the middle of the year, one person was killed and several houses were burnt at the Nagada settlement about a kilometre away from the eviction site.
The clash was between settlers who reside on land legally owned by the Lutheran Church.
The growth of settlements in this part of Madang is a grave concern for landowners like Mr. Tabb.
“Our women don’t feel safe,” he says. “Every week there is a death. If we are not careful, violence will erupt.”
The eviction, while praised by many, still falls short of resolving long term problems caused by urban drift, settlements and large scale development.