10 Oct 2005

PNG landowners let Manam people have food gardens

4:57 pm on 10 October 2005

Papua New Guinea landowners say they will allow people from Manam island to create their own food gardens.

Almost a year ago, volcanic eruptions forced thousands of people to evacuate Manam and move to several care centre plantations on the mainland.

The Chairman of the Manam Humanitarian Committee Sir Arnold Amet says land that the centres are on is being surveyed to mark out enough land for gardens and shelter space.

He says there has been progress in talks to get a permanent resettlement of Manam Islanders.

"I think that the plantation land has now been allowed to people to allow to garden on liberally and be self-sufficient in their food security by the end of the year."

Sir Arnold Amet says Manam remains uninhabitable, and the majority of evacuated islanders have chosen to stay in the care centres.