A GROUP of East Kwara’ae landowners in Malaita Province has condemned responsible authorities funding and maintaining the East Malaita road for what they claimed as “free extraction of gravel from their land”.
The 13 Kilometer long East road is currently being repaired and maintained by the Trades Transformation Construction Company.
However, throughout their maintenance work, gravel have since been extracted or removed from rivers and private (customary) land without the owner’s consent or blessing.
A spokesman for the group of landowners, who wished to remain anonymous, condemned the company and its funders (Solomon Islands Government) for not liaising with landowners over the usage of their resources.
“Even the removal of big logs, gravel and digging up of our land as part of their road repair should have been through the right procedures, which are to consult with landowners.
“These are our lands, these are our resources, and who in their right mind would just stand aside and see their land destroyed, dugout or removed without even giving in their consent?
“This is an area that I believe the government had indeed failed in,” the group’s spokesperson said.
The group meanwhile warned that people are fed up with such disrespectful attitude.
By WILLIAM EKOTANI