THE proposed Taeloa to Ataa road by the Member of Parliament for Baegu Asifola and Member of Parliament for Fataleka has come under spotlight for lack of proper consultation.
The proposed road development which was planned to run from West Fataleka to Baegu Asifola and East Fataleka in Malaita Province has reached a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) dated back to May 28 2021.
The MOU was signed by handpicked representatives from the following tribes; Lagwae Ano, Ngori, Suuae, Urudauwe, Ausamae, Angitana, Lulumu, and Wou.
According to the MOU sighted by this paper, the machines for the proposed road development will land on Lagwae Ano customary land.
The MOU further agreed that, “land owners of Lagwae Ano shall not charge any landing fee nor cause any disturbance when the machineries and equipment are landed on their customary land.”
In an exclusive interview with the Lagwae Ano tribal leader who is also Ngori Manafere tribal leader Gabriel Tiega, he said the proposed road lacks proper consultation, which now resulted in disagreement and conflicts within his own tribe.
Mr Tiega said those behind the proposed road development never had a proper consultation with his tribe, instead they handpicked someone who is not a tribal leader to sign on their behalf without the knowledge of the whole tribe.
He said the tactic used by those behind the proposed road development is uncalled for, where he wondered if such tactic was also used to lure other tribes that signed the proposed road development.
He said the lack of proper consultation tactics used has now divided his tribe.
“Such development approach is only fuelling division and conflict within tribes.”
As stated in the MOU, “A clear demarcation of the road must be made with marks and pegs by the landowners to prevent trespass and damage to important tabu sites.”
Tiega said someone in his tribe went ahead and marked important tabu sites within their customary land with red paint, a move he described as an act of desperation and disrespect to the whole tribe to try and satisfy the MOU.
The Lagwae Ano and Ngori Manafere tribal leader said his tribe is not in support of such development, which lacks proper consultation, and only fuelled disharmony within his own tribe.
“ I want to make it clear here that we Lagwae Ano and Ngori Manafere tribe do not support the proposed Taeloa and Ataa road development.”
“This proposed road development has now caused disharmony in our tribe due to the lack of proper consultation, which we see as a total disrespect to us the landowners.”
“We the people of Lagwae Ano and Ngori Manafere tribe find it disturbing and disrespectful especially when a MOU was already reached without proper consultation.”
“We valued peace and harmony in our tibe, and we humbly requested those who are behind this proposed road development not to land their machines in our customary land to avoid further damage to our tribe’s unity.”
By WILSON SAENI