These Guadalcanal landowners yesterday claimed they were deliberately left out from the proposed Tina Hydro Project in central Guadalcanal.
And they urged the government to include them in the proposed hydro development.
“We were originally part of the negotiations but deliberately left out during the second phase of the project,” spokesman and Bahomea paramount chief Peter Rocky said during a meeting they held at their village yesterday.
Rocky said phase two of the project involved identification of land owning tribes and demarcation of land boundaries within the propose project site.
Rocky claimed the majority of the tribes owning sectors of land within the propose project are left out along the process.
“Why is this so,” he asked.
“We want and support the Tina Hydro project; it’s a good one that can benefit the country and every landowning tribe.
“But the fact that, government through the assigned Tina Hydro project taskforce left us out of the process is a slap on our face,” Rocky claimed.
He said from the initial start, all 27 tribal owners to the land proposed for the hydro project were involved.
He said the initial arrangement they preferred and suggested to the government was to deal with this national project by working with house of chiefs.
Marava chairman, Maxlyn Chuba said there is nothing wrong involving all land owning tribes in the process.
“We all want the project to kick off, but we urge the government and assigned taskforce to do it properly,” he said.
Chuba urged the government to organise a public forum on the Tina Hydro Project.
“We want a public forum held so that we can express our minds,” he said.
The Sunday Star understands the Tino Hydro Project Office had allowed the landowners to sort out their tribal and genealogies amongst themselves during which five core tribes were identified.
It was these five tribes that they are currently working with on the project.
By BRADFORD THEONOMI