The chairman of the Manam Humanitarian Committee in Papua New Guinea, Sir Arnold Amet, says people are returning to Manam Island because of the slow resettlement process on the mainland.
Sir Arnold is overseeing the resettlement of about 9,000 people who were evacuated to mainland care centres last October when the island's volcano erupted.
He is working closely with government officials on the resettlement process and organisations like Caritas and World Vision.
Sir Arnold says people are returning to Manam Island at their own risk to salvage what they can.
"There have been people on the other side of the island living there, the catholic church has continued to stay on so there are homes that have been partially destroyed. So there are people who have been going to see how their homes are and how the island has settled down."
Sir Arnold Amet says the committee's next meeting to assess progress on the resettlement onto the mainland will be at the end of July.