Landowners continue to become spectators on their own land while their resources continue to be exploited
Post Courier | January 5, 2018
There is nothing to show for in the PNG LNG impacted areas with the Government continuously misleading the people and promising better benefits as captured in the PNG LNG agreement of 2009.
Since the agreements were signed in Kokopo in 2009, and the first shipment of the prophetic Gigira Laitapo gas left the shore of PNG in 2014, more than 300 shipments have been made, generating millions of kina for the developers, its partners and the Government, yet the upstream landowners have yet to benefit.
Hiwa landowner chief Max Ekeya said the upstream landowners have been misled by the state and several landowner leaders.
He said landowners continue to become spectators on their own land while their resources continue to be exploited.
Mr Ekeya said the situation continues and it is sad and sickening, a daylight robbery to (them) the landowners, when they cannot see any cash follow in their communities and within the impacted project areas.
“We at the corridors of Hides PDL1, contributing about 37 per cent of the gas and where most of the Well Heads are located have nothing to show for in terms of development.
“The Nogoli police station is run down, tribal fights everywhere within the vicinity of the project area, killings happening regularly. We need to upgrade the police station,” Mr Ekeya said.
He said the Yuni Community School was supposed to be upgraded to high school level but didn’t eventuate.
“The fulfillment of promissory notes by MRDC and KPHL to convert Yuni training centre to technical college by 2017 with the first intakes but is yet to come in place.
Mr Ekeya raised concerns on the bad road conditions, along the Komo-Margarima Koroba-Kopiago and Tari Pori electorates.
“Why isn’t this happening while the country and the world is feeding on Hela gas?
“We see PNG Power and some local contractors trying to erect power lines out of Hides and supply power to Hela people, support should be given,” Mr Ekeya said.
He said the main problem we have with the landowners was with too many chiefs and leader.
“The Hides landowners have a common problem of not having a solid group to address concerns in unity to achieve a result.
“We have a situation where we have differences among ourselves, when we are divided the government and the developer are not interested to hear our concerns.”
He said the landowners were faced with tough economic conditions and our people are pressured over school fees and other daily necessities.
The conerned leader has called for te government to give priority on clan vetting and ILG to be completed, so landowners can benefit through the payment of royalties to sustain their livlihood.
Mr Ekeya called on the landowner leaders to prioritise government expenditure of K35 million as project security to address law and order, pay compensation-related killings in the project areas and empower the local leaders and policemen to provide peace among the people.
“All Hiwas should unite with the Hides Hiwa Block Landowners Association to raise our concerns.
“I appeal to our leaders to provide good leadership to make way for clan vetting to be done,” Mr Ekeya said.