Naru issued the warning after learning from Butibam villagers that Water PNG has given notice to shut down water supply due to non-payment of bills.
During the ground breaking ceremony of the re-sealing of Butibam village road last Saturday, Ahi paramount chief Nathanial Malac told Governor Naru and those gathered that Water PNG has issued notice to shut down water supply without considering their ownership of land and water.
Chief Malac said the Ahi Landowners, which includes Butibam village, were yet to be compensated by the government on the usage of Lae city land and yet one of its entity has seen fit to shut down water supply into the village.
He asked Governor Naru to talk with the Water PNG Management and other appropriate authorities to prevent further frustration amongst the villagers that might lead and provoke unnecessary incidents.
While responding to the request, Naru said successive governments have failed over the years to compensate the Ahi landowners.
“If the government cannot pay up the millions it owes to the Ahi people, the government can partner the landowners with entities like Water PNG or PNG Ports and other companies entering Lae city,” the governor said.
He added that the Morobe Provincial Government’s public private landowner partnership (PPLOP) policy was in place to ensure landowner benefits in developments and projects.
“We want to see full landowner participating in any type of development in Lae city and Morobe province,” said the Governor.
“Landowners will not be mere spectators as in the past but become partners in development opportunity that arises in the city or province.”
Governor Naru assured Butibam villagers that he would front up the Water PNG office and talk with the management to reconsider their decision.