A SETTLER at April Hill, east Honiara, has urged the Commissioner of Lands to clarify certain issues surrounding this new settlement, which he said if remain unresolved may lead to clashes amongst the settlers.
William Gua Jnr. made the call after recent incidents of arguments between the settlers and certain people residing in nearby communities.
April Hill is a new settlement being populated by victims of the April 2013 flash flood in Honiara.
Victims, who used to occupy various evacuation centres in Honiara after the flood, moved in and settled there towards the end of last year.
But Mr Gua said recently eight men who were temporarily engaged by the Ministry of Lands to assist in the survey and pegging of the area approached the settlers and claimed ownership of eight of the plots.
“I am one of those who was approached by one of these eight men and told to vacate the plot that I and my family are currently occupying,” Mr Gua said.
“The person who approached me claimed the plot I am occupying was given to him by the Commissioner of Lands as payment for the work he and others did surveying and pegging the land.
“He ordered that I vacate the plot because that’s his land.
“We ended up arguing and I chase him away with a bush knife.
“Now I don’t want this sort of argument to happen again so I am asking the Commissioner of Lands to clarify the situation to us.
“If it’s true the Commissioner had promised these eight people plots of land at April Hill, then we want to know which of these plots are to be given to these eight people.
“This issue needs to be sorted out to avoid any further arguments and possible fighting between us the settlers and these eight men,” Mr Gua said.
He said these eight people lived at Gilbert Camp and other surrounding communities.
“They are people who already have land and are not in a desperate situation like us the victims of the flash flood,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mr Gua said they were also surprised that people who have food gardens on the April Hill area are refusing to cooperate with the victims.
“We’ve told these people to stop further gardening and asked them politely if we could buy off the root crops they still have in their gardens but they are refusing to cooperate.
“Instead, they put up blockades around their gardens and preventing us from settling in well.
“We are asking the Ministry of Lands to come in and sort this out too because if it didn’t we may end up fighting over the area,” Mr Gua said.
Comments are being sought from the Ministry of Lands.