Manam Resettlement Bill expected in parliament

Madang Governor Jim Kas is expected to table a bill for the creation of the Manam Resettlement Authority.

The bill was to be tabled in parliament in July however Madang leaders were asked by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to have the bill refined and then presented when Parliament sits on October 27th.

More than 10, 000 Manam islanders continue to live in care centres on three plantations in Bogia.

They have been waiting for resettlement for 11 years.

The proposed Manam Resettlement Authority functions as stated in the bill are to:

•Identify and acquire land for resettlement of displaced persons, including negotiating with landowners in Anduram:

•Provide services and infrastructure for the resettlement area which is road access, an airstrip, schools, aid posts and ensuring safe water supply

•To provide for care centres and other services such as health care, education, food for displaced people until they are resettled.

•Liase with donors  and international organisations to ensure services to displaced people are properly coordinated and satisfy acceptable international standards.

•To ensure rights of displaced people and host communities being those living in Asurumba, Magem and Potsdam areas are protected.

•To develop a process for displaced persons to apply for permission to return to Manam Island.

Joy Kisselpar