​HB leaders dispute newspaper article

​Displaced victims of the fire at Hanuabada will not be relocated, nor will the whole village.

This is according to Dadi Toka Junior, co-chair of the Hanuabada Village Fire Appeal.

The clarification comes after a daily published an article, allegedly a press release, hinting at the relocation of the villagers.

The article read: “Prime Minister Peter O’Neill expressed interest in the resettlement plan for Hanuabada village following his meeting with village leaders last Friday.”

Toka Jnr confirmed meeting with the Prime Minister in his office at the Sir Manasupe Haus at Waigani. However, he says: “At no time was there any mention of resettlement or relocation.

“To be clear, all the village houses that were destroyed will be rebuilt in the same locations they stood before the fire.

“We are concerned that the term resettlement or relocation used may be misleading and cause undue stress to the people of Hanuabada.”

Toka Jnr further clarified that the meet, which was also witnessed by a few victims, briefly centred on the background of the fires and possible rebuilding plans being discussed at the village.

He also acknowledged a total of K250,000 from the Prime Minister’s office donated towards the fire appeal and thanked the Prime Minister for taking time out of his busy schedule.

Co-chair Lohia Boe Samuel also asked media to be more responsible in reporting, especially on Hanuabada.

The committee has requested for a retraction from the daily.

Gloria Bauai