Madang’s first step in tackling lawlessness: MP

Considered as a first-of-its-kind, Madang district is conducting social mapping in an effort to address the issue of illegal settlements.

Madang MP Bryan Kramer says one of his 2017 election campaign policy was to address urban drift, hence the exercise.

Once known as the ‘Pearl of the Pacific’, Madang town has now become one of the most notorious centres in the country.

Now into its second week, the social mapping program was rolled out to address the escalating urban drift and lawlessness that has plagued the once peaceful town.

“We’ve started social mapping…up to 300 houses already in one area of Madang where there’s a settlement that turned up in the last 5 years on church land,” stated Kramer.

“So we will most likely complete the social mapping by next week; we’ll cover some 400 houses and populations of close to 4,000 people.”

Kramer says a case file will be created for each of the settlers, and they will assist in their repatriation out of the province.

He says the area they are currently focusing on belongs to the Lutheran Church, where portions of it were illegally sold in the last 10 years.

“The church took the matter to court and then obtained a court order to evict those who are illegally occupying the land.”

After the exercise is completed on Nagada, the MP will shift his attention to Madang urban areas, where settlements will be reorganized to become secure, safe and beautiful communities.

“I have no doubt in the next 5 years, Madang will be restored to its former glory,” the Minister had previously said.

“However, Madang's biggest concern right now is corruption and the state of our economy. If the country goes down then so does Madang and this explains why I have been going after issues at the national level at the expense of improving Madang overnight.

“What people need to understand is that change is coming and a lot quicker than you think.”

Carmella Gware