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Starving Manam Islanders Call for Resettlement Once More


By Rachel Shisei – EM TV News, Madang

Still hungry and awaiting the promised relief supplies to reach them, the volcano-displaced Manam Islanders are once more calling on the National Government to make their permanent resettlement happen.

“The host community to where we at the Potsdam Care Centre are, have taken a preventive court order, preventing us Manam Islanders to take anything from their bush,” said Elijah Sila, a displaced islander living at the Potsdam Care Centre.

Providing relief supplies is a one off thing that only happens occasionally, and is no doubt a very expensive exercise and according to the islanders, the supplies last for about two weeks.

“I plead to the Opposition to make the government move and pass the Manam Resettlement Bill, so that we can help ourselves,” Paul Maburau, Ward Member of Dugulava on the island said.

It is now approaching the third week, since the relief help to be delivered to the islanders was announced.

EMTV News understands that this delay is because of the hold up in the paper work by the Madang Provincial Government.

Meanwhile, two deaths and several more cases of starving islanders fainting, while waiting.

“I’m appealing to the government representatives in Madang to work together, to address the plight at all three Care Centres,” Maburau continued.

Nonetheless the Manam leaders said, they are pleased to realise that the Madang Provincial Government is putting efforts into making the resettlement happen.

“We want to thank the Madang Governor, Jim Kas, because we’ve witnessed kit homes arriving at Bogia for officers who will be making sure ground work for the resettlement exercise happens. This is a sign of hope and a slight relief, that work on the permanent resettlement is happening,” Kenny Bolu, the Biang Vice President stated.

While on that, the leaders went on to clarify reports in the Newspaper last Friday, titled ‘KIT HOMES FOR MANAM ISLANDERS’.

“The story stated that the kit homes transported to Bogia were for us, the Manam Islanders at the resettlement site. That isn’t the case as the houses are meant for the officers who will be working for the government to ensure matters on the ground at the site for the resettlement exercise are attended to”, Solomon Lamang, President of the Iabu LLG on the Volcano island, now living at the Asarumba Care Centre pointed out.

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