PEOPLE related to Kahua land, in Makira-Ulawa Province, are standing up together to oppose a proposed logging operation on the island.
Educated sons of the land took the action after learning a few “selfish” villagers who claimed to own the land, invited Asian logger Elite Logging to operate there.
The land has not been touched by logging and has virgin forests.
Scholars and educated sons of the island have taken their opposition on social media to urge the Asian logging firm to “back off”.
A spokesman for the scholars, Moses Haganitoto, who was the Makira Provincial Chief Planning officer, has resigned his job to take on the loggers.
He said his decision to resign was made in the interest of the people and for the island.
“I have to leave my job behind to fight for my land. We have had enough of Asian loggers ripping us off our resources,” he said.
“Should we take our little time to think and preserve our remaining resources?”
It their act of protest, one of the tribal chiefs Philip Piringi has his photograph with a banner posted on Social media with a statement: “SAY NO AND STOP LOGGING! BACK OFF FROM MY LAND ASIAN!!!”
The issue has gone viral on social media.
Operation manger of Elite Company a Mr Anthony confirmed there was a proposed operation for Kahua land.
“Yes, we have proposed to extend our operation to Kahua land, but I cannot comment further on that,” he said.
Makira Provincial premier Thomas Weape denied having any knowledge on the proposed operation.
“My office was yet to get information about that as it has to go through the right procedure,” Mr Weape said.
“The provincial government will have no say on that as only the responsible government ministry and the land owners will have to deal with the matter. We will only facilitate the process through the timber rights hearing.
“But personally, as a Kahuan man, I strongly opposed logging in our land”.
Kahua was one of the mountainous regions in Makira Province, with untouched virgin forests.
By CHARLEY PIRINGI