20 Sep 2012

Worries in PNG over Manam Islanders' resettlement

4:22 am on 20 September 2012

The man in charge of resettling Manam Islanders in Papua New Guinea's Madang Province says further evacuees may have no where to go.

About ten thousand people were displaced after the Manam volcano began erupting more than five years ago, and they are living in temporary centres in Madang.

The operations manager of the resettlement project, Paul Akuram, says there are at least two thousand people still on Manam, where there has been a recent increase in volcanic activity.

Mr Akuram says a large number of them were evacuated to the mainland years ago, but returned home after conflict with the locals.

He says people on the mainland will not welcome them back if there is another eruption.

"They are not friends anymore. They were getting sick and tired of them and looking after them. The government hasn't been alerted to that fact. It has to be determined, they have to be resettled somewhere. They cannot stay in care centres and cause trouble to local people."

Paul Akuram says there is not yet enough funding to build permanent homes in Madang's Bogia District for all the Manam Islanders.