BY GORETHY KENNETH
HanuaBada village appeal leaders Dadi Toka Jr and Lohia Samuel said yesterday there will not be any resettlement, but rebuilding of the 18 houses that burnt down a week ago.
The 18 families affected include Sisia Nou, Vagi Daera, Doura Lou, Agi Reva, Sale Rea, Dia Dikana, Seri Mauri, Edea Loa, Morea Gau, Arua Ovia, Dego Ao, Naomi Rarua, Rarua Taunao, Rarua Tau, Goada Heni, Bele Gau, Bele Heni, Louisa Kariko. There were 18 homes destroyed by fire, 24 homes partially destroyed, 250 individuals homeless and 80 families affected.
Mr Toka and Mr Lohia said yesterday they thanked Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for giving K250,000 last week, but added that the victims would not be resettled as suggested in media reports.
“At no time was there any mention or discussion of resettlement or relocation when we met with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill,” Mr Toka said.
“But on a positive note, the appeal has raised nearly K500,000 within a week. Individuals, communities, corporate sector and Government Departments have heard our cries for help and hence reached out to assist the people of Hanuabada Village,” he said.
“There is still a lot more work to be done. We are now in the rebuilding phase of the disaster.
“The families affected by the fire and the coordination committee will meet today to discuss this week’s plans on clearing the disaster site and construction stages,” he said.
Meanwhile Prime Minister’s office also released a media statement last yesterday noting the misreporting done this week on the matter.
A news release last Friday, noted the Prime Minister’s interest in the process of restoring residents affected by the recent Hanuabada fires to their homes following reconstruction.
It is important to be clear, resettlement planning relates only to resettling people back into their homes, on their land, once re-construction is complete.
As was stated by the Prime Minister, “the victims must be supported and their lives returned to normal”.
“This restoration will go even further to improve services, including water and sanitation, so that lives are improved and public safety is enhanced,” the Prime Minister said.