Dear Editor – Whilst it is good to see new urban centres established throughout the country, let us not forget that the resource owners are very important in such establishment.
Mamara- Tasifarongo town development is the latest and the sad thing about it is that the landowners are totally excluded from this development and any benefits.
Whilst the land lease expired some years ago, there should be proper consultations between landowners , Guadalcanal province and the National Government before any developer can be invited.
Land is a very sensitive issue in Solomon Islands and having such a development without the inclusion of the landowners is very dangerous.
It is very sad that the okay has been given to the developer whilst many issues surrounding the land, rivers, streams and other resources owned by the people still remain unsolved yet the government saw it fit to give another 70 years lease to the developer without consulting the landowners.
Our recent past should have taught us enough lessons to learn from. Today landowners are quietly watching as the development continues to take shape with very disappointed minds.
It is my view that the development be suspended, revisit the Act, include the landowners ,sign proper agreement before the suspension can be lifted. If the government is serious about the much talked about people’s participation, then it should be reflected here.