12 Sep 2011

PNG relocation plans amid drought near Bougainville island

6:21 am on 12 September 2011

The head of disaster management in Papua New Guinea's Autonomous Region of Bougainville says plans to relocate residents from remote islands are progressing.

For years the people of the Carteret Islands have been wanting to move from their flood-prone atolls to the Bougainville mainland.

The Carterets and other outlying islands including Nissan, Mortlock and Tasman islands are experiencing a severe drought.

The Bougainville Regional Disaster Director, Franklin Leslie, says so far local chiefs have given their approval for one site to be used for resettlement.

"There are final negotiations to the issue. By the end of next month they'll be signing a memorandum of agreement and then after that the MOU. So we can get these people from the atolls to resettle at this particular site. The Government has put aside two millon to cater for this resettlement programme."

Franklin Leslie says within the first five years, 40 houses will be built to cater for 40 families from the outlying islands.