West Papuan refugees set for resettlement


By NAOMI WASE, The National PNG

West Papuan refugees living in Port Moresby will finally have a place to resettle.

The Government, through NCD Governor Powes Parkop, has allocated them 10 hectares of land at Red Hills in Gerehu, Port Moresby.

More than 200 West Papuan families who lived in Hohola, Rainbow and Waigani settlements are starting to clear the allocated land to build their homes.

West Papua Resettlement Committee deputy chairman and Rainbow refugee camp chairman Freddy Waromi thanked Parkop for taking the initiative to secure land for their resettlement.

Waromi said he was happy but the place needed development.

“Right now, this 10 hectares of land is surrounded by mountains and a swamp in the centre,” Waromi said.

He said they needed earth moving equipment to level and clear the place.
“We will also need an immediate installment of water supply and electricity as we move in,” Waromi said.

On behalf of the West Papuans, Waromi is calling on other stakeholders like the Foreign Affairs and Immigration Department, United Nations high commissioner for Refugees and International Organisation for Migration to help Parkop in supporting them.

West Papua Refugee Relief Association chairman Elimar Gombo said they needed help to develop the place.

“We used the little money that we had to make a boundary survey which was approved by the NCDC building board and now we need support,” Gombo said.

The association’s deputy chairman Soni Yosi said there were still legal questions over half of the land.

“Some people have claimed to have titles to over half of the land so for now we are moving the West Papuans to the other half and later we will solve the problem,” Yosi said.

He said as soon as the resettlement in NCD was completed, they would look into helping resettle West Papuans living in other provinces.

Parkop said NCDC was implementing a government decision made in 2010 to resettle the refugees.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *