Progress in Manam resettlement: MP

After years of waiting in frustration, Bogia district in Madang is finally moving on with the resettlement of the displaced Manam people, thanks to the government’s commitment of K20 million.

Member for Bogia, Robert Naguri, told this newsroom that progress has been made towards the permanent resettlement of the people of Manam with initial disbursement of funds into the Manam Resettlement Authority account.

Last week, the MRA committee, including the Minister for Inter Government Relations, Pila Niningi, Secretary for Local Level Government Affairs, Dickson Guina, Member for Bogia Robert Naguri and the Chairman of the Manam Resettlement Authority, Ken Fairweather, were informed by the Minister for Planning that over the next two months, K15 million will be released to the MRA accounts.

The K15 million is the remaining portion of the 2019 Budget allocation of K20 million for MRA.

Naguri said most of these funds will be used for road construction from Bogia station to Barit resettlement area, which is about 40 kilometers from the main Bogia-Madang Highway.

Road construction, including proper drainages into two main rivers, will take a large portion of the funds because the area is waterlogged.

Law and order in the current care centres will be covered in the budget as well as standby for any emergencies during further volcanic eruptions, land mobilisation and administration.

Out of the initial K5 million committed, a total of K1.97 million has already been released directly into the MRA account. Of the remaining K15 million, K7.5 million will be disbursed monthly within the next two months.

Naguri also acknowledged a further K20 million committed by Prime Minister James Marape.

He said the MRA and Bogia district is determined to get work off the ground before the end of this year.

(File picture of Member for Bogia, Robert Naguri)

Frieda Kana