29 Jun 2010

PNG task force deals with Manam resettlement plans

2:18 pm on 29 June 2010

The Papua New Guinea Government has re-established a national task force to try and permanently relocate islanders displaced by the eruptions of the Manam volcano.

The volcano began erupting more than five years ago, forcing an estimated 10,000 people into care centres on the mainland in Madang Province.

But efforts to permanently rehouse them foundered and recent violence forced several thousand to return to Manam Island.

15 of those people have died in the past two weeks, possibly as a result of water contaminated by ash.

The Madang Governor, Sir Arnold Amet, says it's more vital than ever that agreement can be reached on sourcing land.

"I would hope by the end of the year that some certainty might be able to be arrived at, as to where, and negotiations for the acquisition of, and the Government making some commitment, together with any international organisations, for the development of the plots of land that might be agreed upon."