Disaster villagers call for resettlement

Villagers in the Komo district of Hela Province who were affected by the recent earthquake are calling on relevant authorities to resettle them to a new area.

The leaders of the council wards in those affected areas came to Port Moresby last weekend and raised their concerns and tried to get answers.

The leaders were led by Deputy Governor for Hela, Thomas Potabe, who raised concerns that their people are currently in fear and cannot go back to their villages.

Potabe said most of their properties were lost including gardens and road networks.

“We must resettle our people to new locations as we cannot go back to our villages in fear of the earthquake.”

He further called on the Government to review the UBBS agreement signed in Kokopo and make amendments as Hela is now a different province from Southern Highlands.

Mr Potabe also called on the Government to release their development levy to help the people during this disaster.

“We are calling on the Government to seriously look into this issue and respond amicably.”

Meantime, the Opposition also earlier raised this concern and called on Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, to release PNG LNG Project development levy funds.

Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch said the funds will be for relief work and rehabilitation of earthquake-stricken areas in Southern Highlands, Hela and Western Province.

Freddy Mou